Ministry of National Health Services announced on Monday that the first batch of China’s single-dose CanSino Covid-19 vaccine would be available for administration to the citizens by the end of May after thorough rigorous quality control checks.
The ministry’s announcement came as the government expanded the ongoing vaccination campaign by allowing the jabs to the people over the age of 30 years last weekend. It also followed the resumption of classes in districts with less than 5% positivity ratio and reopening of tourist spots.
“The first batch of bulk CanSino vaccine is being processed at the National Institute of Health’s [NIH} plant, which was set up for this purpose last month, and a specially trained team is working on it,” according to an official of the ministry.
The official added that due to the agreement on technology transfer, the NIH would be able to produce three million doses per month which would significantly reduce the country’s dependence on other countries.
The government is procuring vaccine to boost the nationwide vaccination campaign, which started in the first week of February. So far, 10.19 million doses of different vaccines – Sinopharm, SinoVac and CanSino – have been procured from China.
Earlier, it was reported that the much-awaited vaccine supply under the World Health Organisation’s COVAX programme began, with the first batch, comprising 1.23 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs, had reached Pakistan.
The NCOC, the forum working as a unified government effort against the pandemic, had allowed the reopening of tourist spots and the education institutions in Covid safe zones, with strict adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) as it dropped various restrictions imposed during Eidul Fitr holidays.
On Monday, the NCOC said that the national tally of the active Covid-19 cases increased slightly to 62,917 with 3,060 more people testing positive for Covid-19 and 2,693 people recovering from the disease during the past 24 hours.
It also said in its daily update of the disease that 57 patients – of them 52 under treatment in hospitals, including 17 on ventilators – died during the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide death toll since the pandemic first broke out in February 2020 to 20,308.