As many as 4.5 crore doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, also called Covishield, will reach Pakistan in March, according to a report in Pakistan daily The Nation. This will be the first batch of Covishield to reach Pakistan.
Covishield is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune -- the world's largest vaccine manufacturer. It is one of the two vaccines that have been granted emergency use nod by the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI). The second one is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin which the Hyderabad-based company has jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune.
According to reports, the international alliance, GAVI, will provide 4.5 crore doses of Covishield to Pakistan. These doses are among those bought by the GAVI -- a public–private global health alliance with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.
The alliance, which provided help to Pakistan throughout the pandemic, had signed an agreement with Islamabad to provide anti-Coronavirus vaccine in September last year.
According to Aamir Ashraf Khawaja, Federal Secretary National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination, the delivery of 4.5 crore India-made vaccines will start arriving this month.
Earlier this month, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan had approved the use of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine Sinopharm for people over 60 years of age.