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.
Despite concerns over fairness and higher prices, Islamabad agreed this week to allow the commercial import and sale of vaccines without price caps, in contrast to most countries, which are importing and administering vaccines through government channels.
"Happy to report that the target we had set for 1 million vaccinations in a day was crossed," Asad Umar, the minister in-charge for COVID-19 operations, said in a tweet.
"The forum reviewed the implementation of SOPs during Eid holidays and expressed its satisfaction. It also appreciated the efforts of all stakeholders, especially the cooperation rendered by the public across the country..."
"The vaccine will be single dose and has been manufactured by the CanSino Biologics whose single dose injectable vaccine is already being used in Pakistan. Nasal vaccines are usually given to children but there will be no age limit for it..."
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.
Under the programme, dubbed ‘Spring Sprout Action,’ Chinese nationals over the age of 16 who hold a short-term visa without UAE residency will be provided in Dubai with two doses of the Sinopharm vaccination.
Federal Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar announced on Wednesday that the registration of persons aged 19 and above for vaccination against the coronavirus will start from Thursday.
"As vaccine supply continues to improve and vaccination capacity gets enhanced in all federating units, we continue to expand the categories of those who are eligible to get vaccinated," Umar said on Twitter.