The US Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has airlifted emergency medical supplies to Pakistan to help save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19, and continue to meet the urgent health needs across South Asia.
The flight brought 1,200 pulse oximeters, and 340,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals. The United States and Pakistan have worked together closely to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and this donation is being made at the Government of Pakistan’s request.
Prior to this flight, the US Government allocated $40 million to Pakistan for COVID-19 response assistance, including a donation of 200 ventilators to care for COVID-19 patients.
Pakistan sets priorities for Pfizer Covid vaccine
The Pakistan Government is planning to use Pfizer vaccine to vaccinate those who have a work visa, aims to inoculate Hajj pilgrims and students proceeding for education abroad first.
On Thursday, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar announced that the government has decided to prioritize giving the Pfizer vaccine to those who have a work visa. The federal minister also said that the government is working hard to accelerate the vaccination process across the country. In this way, restrictions will be lifted and businesses will be resumed.
Asad Umar, the head of the apex COVID-19 supervisory body, said that the vaccine acceptability issue is global and urged the other nations to address it.
The minister further said that Pakistan received a limited quantity of the vaccine in June due to which the government has decided to inoculate to those who are going abroad where it is mandatory.
Umar added by saying that Chinese vaccines are exported the most and underlined that acceptability towards vaccines is creating problems worldwide.
The first shipment of 106,000 doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 mRNA vaccine has already arrived through COVAX, meanwhile authorities are also planning to acquire ‘one to two million doses’ of mRNA vaccine directly from the manufacturer through the National Disaster Management Authority.
Few major cases to give Pfizer vaccine
According to officials at the National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS R&C) told the media that Pfizer would only be used to inoculate “those with compromised immunity, transplant patients, pregnant ladies, children of 12 years and above in need of vaccination” and those recommended by the committee of experts.
Officials further disclosed that, “Some big guns have already started approaching us to vaccinate them and their families with Pfizer’s vaccine but they are being refused as this is only meant for people with compromised immunity.”