COVAX to provide AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for free to Pakistan

COVAX to provide AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for free to Pakistan

This photograph shows a vial of the AstraZeneca anti-COVID-19 vaccine in a pharmacy in Paris on March 12, 2021. — AFP/File

The COVAX scheme will provide AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine free of charge to Pakistan, sources informed Geo News Wednesday.

Following the development, according to the publication, the federal government has approved the SOPs for the vaccine’s rollout after a nod from the National Expert Committee.

As per the standard operating procedures, two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be administered with a 12-week gap, while it will be stored at a temperature of 2-8 degree Celsius.

According to the issued guidelines, the vaccine will be administered to people over the age of 18 while those suffering from fever won’t be able to receive the jab.

Similarly, people who test positive for the virus will not be able to get the jab while the guidelines said a person who has recovered from the virus will be inoculated.

Those who receive the jab may experience slight body pain, said the guidelines, allaying concerns that the vaccine will be safe for pregnant and lactating women.

It is pertinent to mention here that the World Health Organisation has given approval for the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier, it was announced that Pakistan, Nigeria, and Indonesia would be among the biggest recipients of free COVID-19 vaccines as part of the COVAX scheme before June — with each country getting more than 10 million doses each.

Some 238.2 million doses would be distributed around the world by the end of May through the programme, which is aimed at boosting access to coronavirus jabs in poorer nations.

Though vaccination campaigns have gathered pace globally, the majority of injections have been administered in wealthier countries while many nations have yet to receive a single dose.

The five biggest confirmed recipients are Pakistan (14,640,000 doses), Nigeria (13,656,000), Indonesia (11,704,800), Bangladesh (10,908,000) and Brazil (9,122,400).

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