PIA special plane airlifts batch of Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan from China

BEIJING, Jun 1 (APP): Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) special plane airlifted a batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from the Beijing Capital International Airport to Islamabad on Tuesday.

Another plane of the national flag carrier will transport another batch of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine procured from China to Pakistan on Wednesday morning, Qadir Bux Sangi, PIA Country Manager for China told APP.

Last Sunday, a special flight PK6852 transported a consignment of 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine from Beijing to Islamabad.

The government has decided to run massive vaccination drive across the country to achieve the target of providing 70 million vaccines to the people aimed at fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, about 5.3 million people have been vaccinated.

The concerned authorities have already arranged 10 million more vaccines while 10 million more would available in June and further 10 million in July, according to official sources.

A Chinese foreign ministry’s spokesperson has stated in a statement that China has always attached great importance to Pakistan’s demand for vaccines to help fight Covid-19 pandemic and carried out close cooperation with that country.

“Chinese vaccines manufacturers have cooperated with Pakistan in the development and production of vaccines from very beginning and will continue to export vaccines to Pakistan,” he added.

It may be mentioned that Pakistani health authorities had launched a nationwide vaccination drive with around a million doses of Sinopharm vaccine donated by China, starting with older people and frontline healthcare workers, in March. The drive began with a focus on the oldest people in the community, generally over the age of 80, and worked its way down.

Initially, the government had to deal with vaccination hesitancy and a shortage of vaccine supplies and had limited shots for people aged 30 or over.

Islamabad received the first COVID-19 vaccine consignment after a military aircraft transported it from Beijing on February 01, this year.