Pakistan decides advance purchases of COVID-19 vaccines: sources
ISLAMABAD: The health ministry has recommended purchases of potential coronavirus vaccines under last-stage trials and allocation of $100 million funds for its advance booking, citing sources, ARY News reported on Wednesday.
Pakistan made a decision to purchase the possible vaccines of COVID-19 in advance and permission was sought from the Prime Minister Imran Khan by the health ministry, sources privy to the development told ARY News.
The Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination wrote a letter to PM Imran Khan to seek permission for advance booking of coronavirus vaccines.
The ministry recommended allocation of $100 million in funds for the purchases of vaccines on an emergency basis for around 10 million nationals. In its first phase, the vaccines will be made available for elderly citizens and health workers.
PM Imran Khan was sought for allowing the inter-ministerial committee for holding negotiations with vaccine makers besides ordering the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for considering the matter on an emergency basis.
It read that the trials of COVID-19 vaccines have entered into its third phase on the global level and all countries started advance booking for the vaccines expected to be introduced in the first and second quarters of 2021.
The ministry stated in its letter that Pakistan contacted Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, for getting free-of-cost vaccines or its availability on discounted prices. It is expected to get vaccines from Gavi by the end of 2021.
It is pertinent to mention here that the matter related to the advance purchases of COVID-19 vaccines was also discussed by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).