Pakistan Set to Receive 500,000 Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Web DeskJanuary 1, 2024
Pakistan Set to Receive 500,000 Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

In a bid to combat the challenges posed by the evolving COVID-19 landscape, Pakistan is expecting a delivery of over 500,000 doses of Pfizer’s latest COVID-19 vaccine variant (2023-24 version) this month.

The forthcoming doses have been earmarked by officials to prioritize the vaccination of high-risk groups, particularly those intending to embark on the Hajj pilgrimage. However, before the vaccine’s deployment, Pakistani health authorities are awaiting a fresh Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the country’s Drug Regulatory Authority (Drap). This step is crucial as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t yet granted approval for this updated version of the Pfizer vaccine.

Read more:Punjab Resumes COVID Testing Amid Increasing Cases

Emphasizing the urgency, officials clarified that the FDA has granted emergency-use authorization specifically for this vaccine variant. The National Institute of Health (NIH) shared that Pakistan is set to receive an initial 200,000 doses of Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 vaccine from the United States in the coming days. Notably, this latest vaccine version has shown promise in combatting existing variants, including the concerning Omicron lineage and its variations.

Adding to this supply, COVAX, an international initiative aimed at equitable vaccine distribution, plans to allocate an additional 300,000 vaccine doses to Pakistan. Despite no reported cases of the JN.1 sub-variant in Pakistan, health authorities are proactively looking to immunize pilgrims as a preventative measure against potential COVID-19 variant infections.

Anticipating protocols for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage, an NIH representative suggested that Saudi authorities may mandate pilgrims to be vaccinated with an mRNA vaccine, either from Pfizer or other FDA-authorized manufacturers, before entering their territory for Hajj.

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