Pakistan has approved $150m in funding to buy Covid-19 vaccines

The de facto health minister said Pakistan had initially approved a $ 150 million fund to purchase Covid-19 vaccines to cover the most vulnerable 5% of the population.

Faisal Sultan said that the first phase of vaccines will focus on free vaccines for frontline healthcare workers and people over 65, and was given at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan to finance the program.

The Prime Minister’s special adviser on health, Sultan, said that an expert panel has prepared a list of recommendations on how to obtain the vaccine.

“We’ll see if we need to touch multiple sources, including some Western manufacturers or some Chinese, so we’ll go ahead with all these options,” he said.

Sultan said that the effectiveness, level of protection and safety of the vaccine, as well as “cold chain” storage requirements and Pakistan’s stock-building capability, will be taken into account when choosing.

He added that the first meeting with several companies has already opened.

Pakistan has launched Phase III clinical trials for CanSino Biologics’ Covid-19 vaccine candidate, led by the government-run National Institute of Health (NIH) and pharmaceutical company AJM, the local representative of CanSino.

The South Asian country of 220 million closed schools in late November in order to increase the number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals and to prevent new infections.

The Pakistani government reported 67 deaths and 2,458 new cases on Tuesday, the highest single-day wage in months, with 2,165 patients in critical condition in hospitals. Overall, there have been 400,482 cases and 8,091 deaths recorded in the country so far. -theguardian-