ISLAMABAD, 17 July 2021 – Today 1,236,000 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines reached Islamabad through the COVAX Facility, bringing the total number of doses delivered by the global COVID-19 vaccine equity scheme in Pakistan to five million so far.
Since May, 2.4 million doses of AstraZeneca, 100,160 doses of Pfizer and 2.5 million doses of Moderna, the latter donated by the United States under the dose-sharing mechanism, have been delivered to Pakistan via COVAX.
“WHO applauds Pakistan’s globally recognized COVID-19 vaccination campaign. It is a remarkable achievement that COVID-19 vaccines are equitably made available to people even in the remotest areas of Pakistan. The vaccine roll-out has helped prevent COVID-19 infections, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, and has reduced pressure on healthcare system, “said Dr. Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan. “WHO will continue supporting the Government of Pakistan in setting up essential systems for swift and safe administration of vaccines. On behalf of COVAX Facility, I reiterate that we will support Government of Pakistan with COVID -19 vaccines for around 20% of the population.
The vaccines will support the Government of Pakistan’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive which started in February, one year after the first case was reported in the country. More than 4.5 million people have been fully vaccinated, and more than 18 million people partially vaccinated against the coronavirus COVID-19 so far. One million cases of COVID-19 have been reported and nearly 23,000 people have succumbed to the disease.
“This latest delivery comes at a critical time as the Government of Pakistan intensifies its vaccination campaign across the country. UNICEF is supporting global COVID-19 vaccination efforts through COVAX to maximize supply and access to safe, effective, and affordable vaccines,” said Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. ”UNICEF will continue to support the Government in ensuring an efficient and effective management of all vaccination campaigns through procurement services of essential COVID-19, routine immunization and polio supplies; expansion of cold chain capacity to ensure safe storage of vaccines; and risk communication and community engagement to increase vaccine uptake and ensure adherence to COVID-19 safety measures.”
Strictly complying with COVID-19 safety measures remains crucial to curb the spread of virus. These include regularly washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds or use a sanitizer; wearing a mask; remaining at least six feet away from other people; avoiding crowded places; and staying home when having COVID-19 symptoms.
The COVAX Facility aims to help address the acute phase of the global pandemic by the end of 2021 by providing rapid, fair, and equitable access to approved vaccines to all participating countries, regardless of income level. It enables the protection of frontline health care and social workers, as well as other high-risk and vulnerable groups.
COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access) is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and WHO, together with UNICEF. It is funded thanks to generous support from partner governments, foundations, and private sector corporations. So far, it has delivered more than 90 million doses of different COVID-19 vaccines to 133 countries and territories around the world.
Source: World Health Organization