Coronavirus

Pakistan allows AstraZeneca shot for under 40s to help expatriates

Pakistan AstraZeneca

Pakistan has lifted a rule barring the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people below 40 years old to help inoculate people who need to travel.

About 1.3% of Pakistanis have been vaccinated to be saved from the lethal attack of Covid-19 so far. The majority of these people have received doses of Chinese Sinopharm, Sinivac, or CanSinoBio.

Read more: Novavax vaccine shows strong protection against Covid-19

However, the government of Saudi Arabia has approved four Covid-19 vaccines for those who travel to their country. The names of the vaccines which have been approved by the Saudi government include AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson, and Johnson.

Now keeping in view the rules of the Saudi government, Pakistan has lifted the restriction, according to which the people under 40 years were not allowed the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination.  

Faisal Sultan, the Health advisor to the Prime Minister told the media on Tuesday, “From today, we have lifted the restriction for use of AstraZeneca for below 40 years.”

He said that the Saudi authorities have not approved the Chinese shots, so people with only those vaccinations still need to quarantine which is unaffordable for many.

Pakistan received 1.2 million doses of AstraZeneca under COVAX

According to the health advisor to the Prime Minister, the government has been using diplomatic channels to see if Saudi Arabia would approve the Chinese vaccine in the future. But at present, lifting the restriction on the use of AstraZeneca for people under 40 was the need of time.  

Initially, the government of Pakistan had started vaccinating the people above 60 years free of cost, then the people above 50 years were vaccinated freely, later the people above 40 years were asked to be vaccinated free of cost.  

Now the process of vaccinating the majority of Pakistani is on the way. But the AstraZeneca would be preferably given to those, working, studying, or trading in Saudi Arabia.   

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