Sindh approaches CanSino vaccine's distributor for advance booking

Sindh approaches CanSino vaccine’s distributor for advance booking

A health worker receives a dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, at the National Command and Operation Centre in Islamabad. — AFP/File

Sindh has approached the official distributor of  CanSinio Biologic’s coronavirus vaccine to make an advance booking of 10 million doses.

“Please take note that this letter of intent is not the final agreement, but rather it serves as a letter for advanced booking. The final Purchase Agreement will be signed between the Health Department and Official Distributor of CanSino Biologics, China in Pakistan,” the health department said in the letter written to the vaccine’s official distributor in the country, AJM Pharma. 

The province’s health department said the decision was taken following a meeting of the provincial task force for coronavirus, held on April 2, with Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah in the chair.

A day earlier, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had permitted the private company that has imported Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to begin selling it.

The development comes as Pakistan continues to battle an intensifying third wave of the coronavirus.

Pakistan has one of the lowest rates of vaccination against coronavirus, with fewer than 0.3 people vaccinated per 100 members of the population.

The development comes as Pakistan faced a setback after it came to light that India had diverted AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine supplies to meet its domestic needs — and the country might receive it till May or even later.

Pakistan had also received the first shipment of 60,000 doses of single-dose Chinese vaccine Convidecia, developed by the CanSino Biologics Inc, in Islamabad Tuesday night.

Earlier, the provincial health minister, Dr Azra Pechuho, had said the government of Sindh had allotted Rs500 million to directly purchase the coronavirus vaccine from China’s CanSino Biologics,

In a press conference held in Karachi, Dr Pechuho said Sindh would receive some 8,000-10,000 doses of the total 60,000 CanSinoBIO’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine that Pakistan received earlier from China.

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