Asad Umar said the coronavirus pandemic has become a challenge for the whole world

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Day after the government decided to run massive COVID vaccination drive across the country to achieve the target of providing 70 million vaccines to the people, Pakistan on Tuesday launched its locally-developed Covid-19 vaccine ‘PakVac’.

PakVac vaccine has been manufactured by the Ministry of Health with the help of China’s Cansino Bio after rigorous quality control checks. The Ministry of Health had initially ordered the Health Department to prepare three million doses of PakVac. Sources said that manufacturing, packing and concentrate for PakVac vaccine are manufactured at the National Institutes of Health.

Addressing the ceremony, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said the coronavirus pandemic has become a challenge for the whole world and today’s top demand is COVID-19 vaccines.

He said the situation of the pandemic in Pakistan was quite better by the grace of Allah Almighty as compared with the other countries. Umar said that neither any disease will care about any boundaries nor it discriminates any human’s family and religion.

“Only nations that focus on increasing their knowledge and have the capacity to translate that knowledge equation into technology progress,” Umar said, adding that today’s achievement was part of the same link.

On Monday, while briefing media after attending the meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC), Asad Umar said that the government had decided to run massive COVID vaccination drive across the country to achieve the target of providing 70 million vaccines to the people, adding that the lockdown is no more the solution of containing COVID-19, as the vaccination has become the only way to do away with the pandemic.

Asad Umar informed that the NCC had endorsed the strategy of vaccination drive prepared by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC).

“We want that maximum number of people should be administered the vaccines in June and July before the Eid-ul-Azha to avoid imposing lockdown in the county during the Eid festival.

Asad Umar said the NCOC took some difficult decisions during the last ten days of Ramdan and Eid days but they yielded positive results as the positivity ratio had come down from 10-11 percent to 4 percent.

In Sindh, however he said the pandemic was still expanding at little higher rate. He said the COVID had not ended yet and the people should still strictly follow the SOPs issued by the government to curb the expansion of pandemic.

Umar said positive results were seen in the countries where vaccination ratio was high.

In the country so far, about 5.3 million people have been vaccinated. He said there was no issue of vaccine availability as “we have already arranged 10 million more vaccines while 10 million more would available in June and further 10 million in July, he added.

He said during previous day, some 383,000 vaccines were provided but “we want to increase the daily vaccine number by 100 percent”. He said now the whole of nation approach was being adopted to ensure effectiveness of the vaccination drive.

The minister added that, the federal government would provide free of cost vaccine to all people including18 years and above.

He said in order to make the drive successful, the government would engage different stakeholders including media, bar councils, religious scholars, Ulema, trade bodies and others to run the drive collectively.