ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan launched COVID-19 vaccination drive with China-donated vaccines on Tuesday as part of the country’s efforts to bring the pandemic under control.
The first batch of the Sinopharm vaccines reached Pakistan early Monday from Beijing on a special Pakistan Air Force plane.
Khan, who oversaw the start of the vaccination campaign with the first jab administered to a doctor at the Prime Minister’s House, thanked China for donating the vaccine to Pakistan.
The vaccines will be first administered to frontline healthcare workers working with COVID-19 patients, followed by the elderly in the high-risk age group, said the prime minister, adding that the vaccines will be fairly distributed among all the provinces of the country.
He also urged the public to keep following standard operating procedures, wear a mask to avoid the spread of the disease and help Pakistan resume its socio-economic activities.
“Our economy is running despite the pandemic and it is the service sector that has been curtailed. If you exercise caution, then all remaining sectors will be reopened,” the prime minister said.
Pakistan has so far confirmed over 547,000 cases, while 11,746 people have lost their lives to the disease since the COVID-19 outbreak in the country, according to the latest government data.