UK’s support to Covax to help Pakistan’s vaccination programme

First 7 million doses of Oxford-developed AstraZeneca vaccines expected to arrive in Pakistan before April


Our Correspondent February 14, 2021
Pakistan is to receive a delivery of 17 million doses of the UK-developed Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine shortly, with the first 7m expected to arrive before April. PHOTO: REUTERS/File

ISLAMABAD:

With Pakistan set to receive a delivery of 17 million doses of the UK-developed Oxford University AstraZeneca vaccine shortly, the UK's support to the Covax facility will help Pakistan’s vaccination programme, said a statement issued by the British High Commission on Sunday.

The first 7 million doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Pakistan before April, whereas the next 10 million are expected to arrive before June.

Approximately 8.5 milion people will receive protection from the virus, with these vaccines, that has already claimed over 12,000 lives in Pakistan.

So far, the UK has committed £548m to the global Covax initiative, making it the largest single donor, the high commission's statement read.

This initiative is the key to more than 180 countries having fair and early access to Covid-19 vaccines. The UK is also encouraging other countries to contribute over $1bn to Covax.

Covax is an international initiative to support the discovery, manufacture and fair distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, for a billion people by the end of 2021. Covax is also committed to supplying Pakistan with vaccines for 45m people this year alone.

“The Covax facility has been the main way the world has united to make sure all countries get the vaccines they need as quickly as possible, including Pakistan. The UK has been a world leader in supporting Covax, and Covax has committed to supplying Pakistan with Covid-19 vaccines for 45m people this year,” said British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner.

He added that the people of the UK and Pakistan have come together to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

The statement further maintained that, "The UK has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Pakistan during the pandemic, pivoting around £20m of aid to help Pakistani’s fight the pandemic. This includes funding the World Health Organization (WHO) since April 2020 to build laboratory testing capacity through training and the provision of equipment across Pakistan."

The UK has overall pledged about £1.3 billion of aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, it added.

"This includes up to £829 million for the development and distribution of new vaccines, treatments and tests, and £5 million for other critical Covid-19 research and development," thte statement read.

The UK is also a forefront driver of unprecedented global collaboration and resourcing for the development and delivery of new vaccines, treatments and tests, at the required speed and scale.

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