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Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan said on Monday that Pakistan expected to receive 19 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the first half of the ongoing year.

"We expect to receive 19 million doses of Covid vaccines by the first half of the current year," Dr Sultan said while addressing a press conference at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) this afternoon.

The SAPM stated that the government has signed agreements to receive 30 million doses of the vaccines, adding that the process will continue in phases.

Vaccination targets

"90 per cent of the vaccines are to be bought," he said, dispelling the impression that the government was solely relying on donations to receive the jabs.

He further stated that about 100 million of the population was eligible to receive the jabs, excluding those below the age of 18 years.

"We will make modifications if there are any scientific changes [internationally regarding the age factor]."

Dr Faisal added that, "We plan to vaccinate 70 million people across the country by year end."

Read Pakistan has received 4.06 million doses of Covid vaccines so far

"The efforts to acquire vaccinations are ongoing but the biggest defence against Covid is adherence to the SOPs."

Referring to the global shortage of vaccines, the SAPM said that Pakistan is still succeeding in acquiring the vaccines and vaccinating its population.

Local production

Dr Faisal stated that Pakistan is set to start the local filling of the CanSino vaccines. "According to the agreement, we will carry out local filling of three million doses in the country every month."

"The move will help lessen the country's reliance on other countries for vaccine procurement," he said.

The SAPM lauded China's cooperation in enabling Pakistan to carryout the filling process locally.

He termed comparisons with other countries, such as Bhutan, unfair, saying any comparisons should be drawn on the basis of the population of a country and its vaccination initiatives.

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