Pakistan is currently offering free vaccines to frontline healthcare workers and people over the age of 50, but the drive has thus far been slow, and last month the country allowed commercial imports by the private sector for the general public.
Pakistan has lifted a rule barring the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for people below 40 years old, in a bid to help inoculate people who need to travel for education or jobs abroad, particularly Saudi Arabia, a health official said.
Asad Umar warned that countries not accepting vaccination certificates of Chinese vaccines would turn out to be a problem for the entire world if a decision was not taken on the issue at the global level.
"The more quickly we get ourselves vaccinated, the faster we will be able to rid ourselves of this menace," Asad Umar said, requesting people to get themselves vaccinated so that businesses could reopen and life could return to its normal state in Pakistan.
Already battling a third wave of infections and increasingly nervous about the crisis across the border in India, the government has imposed the most severe restrictions since a one-month lockdown in April last year.
With 88 more deaths and 4,000 new cases of COVID-19 infections all over Pakistan, inoculation of people aged 30 years and above started from Saturday as the National Assembly was informed that local production of the anti-coronavirus vaccine has begun.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) of Islamabad has begun the production of a single-dose Chinese coronavirus vaccine believing the initiative will help meet Pakistan's vaccine needs.
During an informal chat with media representatives, Dr Mahipala said that Pakistan was one of the seven countries in the world that took the best precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
Asad Umar announced on Tuesday that the NCOC has decided to start inoculating children who are 12 years and older against the coronavirus in a bid to build herd immunity against COVID-19.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 42,476 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. The total number of cases has risen to 1,259,648 and the positivity ratio is 1.62 per cent.
Meanwhile, the death toll has risen to 28,152 after 18 more fatalities were confirmed.