Pakistan

COVAX delivers first tranche of 6 million doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to Pakistan

This latest shipment will bring the total of number of doses of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to Pakistan by the COVAX Facility to 14 million.

ISLAMABAD, 11 August 2021 – Today the first tranche of 6.1 million doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine (BBIBP-CorV) procured through COVAX, the global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme, reached Pakistan.

Early this morning 976,782 doses of the vaccine landed in Islamabad; the remaining 5.1 million doses will arrive within the next four days. All will support the Government’s national vaccination drive, which recently hit the milestone of one million doses of vaccine administered in a day.

Nearly 8 million people have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and 30 million have received one dose since the start of the vaccination campaign, which began one year after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Pakistan. The Government has used doses of COVID-19 vaccines procured through COVAX and through bilateral purchases.

This is the first Sinopharm vaccine consignment to arrive in Pakistan through COVAX, bringing the total number of doses delivered by the Global Facility to the Government to more than 14 million over the past three months. This includes the 6.1 million doses Sinopharm, 5.5 million doses of Moderna donated by the United States under COVAX’ dose-sharing mechanism, 100,160 doses of Pfizer and 2.4 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“WHO applauds the Government of Pakistan for its massive countrywide efforts to get people vaccinated. With this increased large supply, through COVAX Facility, we can boost the national COVID-19 response and keep everyone safe from the recent emergence of more transmissible variants. These vaccines supplied through the COVAX Facility will help in realizing our shared vision of vaccine equity. Accelerating vaccine equity is not only critical to saving lives but also to driving a faster and fairer recovery from the pandemic with benefits for all, said Dr Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan. WHO has been and will continue working hard alongside the Government of Pakistan to attain the capacity and infrastructure needed to safely delivery the vaccines across the country.”

So far one million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Pakistan and at least 24,004 people have succumbed to the disease.

“UNICEF appreciates the concerted efforts by COVAX partners to accelerate the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Pakistan. These latest shipments of 6.1 million doses of vaccines will contribute to the NCOC’s plan to vaccinate at least 70 million people by the end of this year, having now reached the milestone of vaccinating more than one million people per day, said Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. “UNICEF will continue to support the Government in ensuring an efficient roll-out of the campaign so that no one is left behind. This includes closing the gender gap as currently barely more than one-third of people vaccinated are women. COVID-19 vaccines are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and they do not disrupt fertility. Women are as much exposed to the virus as men, they need to be vaccinated to prevent COVID-19 and stay healthy.”

Strictly complying with COVID-19 public health and social measures remains as critical as ever to stop the spread of virus. These include regularly washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use a sanitizer; wear a mask; remain at least six feet away from other people; avoid crowded places; and stay home when having COVID-19 symptoms.

“The COVAX Facility and Gavi are proud to support this delivery of COVID vaccines and commend the Government of Pakistan for their continuing efforts to ensure that vulnerable populations in Pakistan are protected from COVID-19,” said Alexa Reynolds, Gavi Senior Country Manager for Pakistan.

The goal of COVAX is to help address the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 by providing rapid, fair and equitable access to safe and effective vaccines for all participating countries and territories regardless of income level.

The COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF, aims to provide access to quality-assured COVID-19 vaccines, enabling the protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.   

For more information, please contact

UNICEF
Catherine Weibel, UNICEF Pakistan, cweibel@unicef.org, +92 300 500 2592
Abdul Sami Malik, UNICEF Pakistan, asmalik@unicef.org, +92 300 855 6654

WHO

Maryam Yunus, WHO Pakistan, yunusm@who.int, +92 300 8441744