India will also supply its own vaccine to Pakistan. India is a member of the Gavi Alliance. GAVI is a global coalition to provide vaccines to everyone around the world.
An government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said New Delhi was ready to provide all kinds of humanitarian aid to Islamabad and would soon decide to supply covid vaccines directly to Pakistan.
According to media reports, India will also send 45 million doses of covid vaccine to Pakistan under an agreement with the GAVI alliance.
The GAVI Alliance is a global alliance to provide vaccines to everyone around the world and provides free vaccines to countries in need. India is also a member of the Gavi Alliance.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that 16 million of the 45 million vaccines supplied to Pakistan would be shipped by June this year.
AstraZeneca’s coviShield vaccine, developed by the Serum Institute of India, will be supplied. Currently, the Government of India has approved coviShield as well as covixon, developed by the Indian company Bharat Biotech.
Sources in New Delhi said that out of the 16 million doses of covid vaccine sent to Pakistan by June, the first consignment would reach Islamabad by mid-March while the rest would reach by June.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca covid vaccine was approved for emergency use by the Pakistan Drug Regulatory Authority in January this year.
According to sources, the vaccine will be sent directly from India to Pakistan.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Health said that India has so far supplied the vaccine to 65 countries. It has been sent to most of these countries as aid, while some countries have bought it at a price set by the Indian government.
India has so far sent covid vaccines to Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.
Relations between India and Pakistan have been strained since the abolition of Kashmir’s special constitutional status in August 2019 and the terrorist attack in Pulwama.
It is also affecting bilateral trade between the two countries. However, sources said that the supply of ‘life-saving medicines’ has been curtailed.
An government official said, “India is ready to provide all kinds of humanitarian assistance to Pakistan. More vaccines could be supplied directly soon. A decision in this regard will be made soon.”