Pakistan may get Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in coming months under the WHO program of COVAX. World Health Organisation’s COVAX program has already placed an order to American pharmaceutical company to procure 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccine. WHO has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine for the emergency use in this pandemic.
COVAX has signed agreements with various pharmaceutical companies to get the vaccine for the Covid-19 pandemic and the body has announced that it has arranged to get first 100 million doses from Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India
“Today marks another milestone for COVAX: pending regulatory approval for the AstraZeneca/Oxford candidate and the successful conclusion of the supply agreement for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, we expect to be able to begin deliveries of life-saving COVID-19 vaccines February,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads COVAX procurement and delivery.
“This is not just significant for COVAX, it is a major step forward for equitable access to vaccines, and an essential part of the global effort to beat this pandemic. We will only be safe anywhere if we are safe everywhere.”
“The urgent and equitable rollout of vaccines is not just a moral imperative, it’s also a strategic and economic imperative,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. “This agreement with Pfizer will help to enable COVAX to save lives, stabilise health systems and drive the global economic recovery.”
“These purchase agreements open the door for these lifesaving vaccines to become available to people in the most vulnerable countries,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But at the same time we are securing vaccines we must also ensure that countries are ready to receive them, deploy them, and build trust in them.”
COVAX programme timeline for Pakistan
Phase I: The first tranche of doses would be enough to protect health and social care workers and will be delivered in the first quarter of 2021.
Phase II: The second tranche would be in the second half of the year, aiming to vaccinate 20% of the population by year-end.
Phase II: Additional doses to reach higher coverage will be available in 2022.