ISLAMABAD: China will provide 500,000 doses of its Sinovac coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan by January 31, said Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, thanking “friend” Beijing for its generosity.
Talking to media in Islamabad on Thursday, FM Qureshi said that China has offered Pakistan to send an airplane and airlift the vaccine doses.
“Chinese foreign minister, in a telephonic conversation, has gifted half million virus doses to Pakistan and said that Islamabad can airlift the medicine,” he added.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that he told his Chinese counterpart that Pakistan requires 1.1 million doses of the vaccine in view of its large population, adding that the Chinese side also promised to make available the required quantity of the doses by the end of next month.
China has also agreed to manufacture the Covid vaccine in Pakistan, he added.
“Always great to speak to my friend, His Excellency FM Wang Yi. With encouraging results of Chinese vaccine and our historic relationship, Pakistan has approved emergency use authorisation of SinoPharm. Indeed Flag of Pakistan greatly appreciates the 500,000 doses of the vaccine gifted by Flag of China,” he also wrote in a tweet.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) January 21, 2021
China has played an instrumental role in Pakistan’s fight against COVID19 with technical assistance and medical expertise, said the foreign minister.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) on Jan.18 had authorised China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan, making it the second vaccine to get local approval.
The permission was given in the DRAP registration board meeting after China’s Sinopharm had sought permission from Pakistan for the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
Pakistan, which is seeing rising numbers of coronavirus infections, also granted allowed to use Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (AZD1222) in an emergency situation.