Pakistani experts finalize recommendations for speedy procurement of COVID-19 vaccine

A laboratory technician holds a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the National Primate Research Center of Thailand at Chulalongkorn University in Saraburi on May 23, 2020. (AFP/File)
Short Url
Updated 20 August 2020

Pakistani experts finalize recommendations for speedy procurement of COVID-19 vaccine

  • Government encouraged to work with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization for procurement support and co-financing
  • Health ministry says it will prioritize vulnerable segments as soon as the vaccine becomes available

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s health ministry said on Thursday that a group of experts working for the government had finalized their recommendations for the speedy procurement and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it became available.
In an official handout circulated in Islamabad, it informed that these proposals would also be presented to Prime Minister Imran Khan during the ongoing month.
“The federal government has fast tracked processes for the provision of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available,” said the statement. “In this context, technical committees working under the guidance of the National Command and Operation Center have finalized their recommendations … [which] shall be submitted to the prime minister during this month.”
The statement added that out of 10 vaccines currently developed by leading global manufacturers, six were already undergoing phase 3 trials.
“The committee has recommended engagement with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) for support in procurement through co-financing,” it added. “It has also been recommended to the government to arrange finances for the purpose. Also among the recommendations is enhanced collaboration with China including in clinical trials of the vaccine and efforts toward indigenous manufacturing of the vaccine.”
Pakistan has already decided to participate in the phase 3 clinical trials to test a COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Chinese company, CanSinoBio, starting next month. According to senior health ministry officials, the trials, which will be carried out in five cities of the country, will assure preferential vaccine supply and pricing for the country.
“The priority groups for receiving the vaccination (as soon as it becomes available) will be vulnerable segments of the population,” the statement noted. “The committee has also recommended preparation of a deployment plan and arranging cold storage facilities for the vaccine. The infrastructure of Expanded Program on Immunization with additional resources is being recommended for deployment and delivery of the COVID vaccine.”


Pakistani Twitter rejoices as archrival India beats Australia in cricket win for the ages

Updated 19 January 2021

Pakistani Twitter rejoices as archrival India beats Australia in cricket win for the ages

  • Pakistan and India are political foes and have one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world
  • Tuesday’s win by India was unequivocally cheered by Pakistani cricket fans who called it “one of the greatest test match wins of all time”

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani social media users rejoiced on Tuesday as India bagged an incredible three-wicket win in the fourth test decider against Australia.

India’s Rishabh Pant timed his innings to perfection, ramping up the aggression in a stellar 89 as India stormed to a record 328-run chase at the Gabba and became the first team to beat the hosts at the Brisbane stronghold since the West Indies in 1988.

Pakistan and India are political archrivals and fierce opponents in the cricket field. But Tuesday’s win was unequivocally cheered by Pakistani cricket fans on Twitter, who called it one of “the greatest test series and test match wins of all time.”

“From 36 all out in the same series to winning it on Australia soil. Wow,” former cricketer and fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar wrote.

“Investing in your players, giving them financial security, protecting them, giving them exposure, having A team tours is eventually bound to pay off. Well done India,” said cricket manager Rehan ulHaq.

“India basically pulled off one of the greatest test series and test match wins of all time,” said Uzair Younus, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “To win Down Under [Australia] is an achievement on its own. But to do it when several first-team players are out injured is a whole new level of achievement. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.”

“Given results, their injuries, and lack thereof of the home side, this Indian team is probably the greatest from South Asia to tour Australia,” said Umair Javed, an assistant professor at LUMS, Pakistan’s most prestigious private university.

“Cricket is the winner (and Australia the loser),” Javed said in another tweet.

“What a fight back by Indian cricket team in the series, they’ve played quality cricket. From 36-all out in first test to 2-1 up. Commendable. Love and respect from Pakistan,” Twitter user Taliha said, posting one of thousands of tweets praising the Indian team’s performance.

“Tremendous cricket by Indians,” Haider Rasool wrote. “Love from Pakistan.”

One Indian Twitter user posted: “Thank you Pakistan. Today’s win is ever more special because of support from neighbor.”

Strained relations between the two nations, who were one country before the partition of British India split them into India and Pakistan in 1947, and a decades-long dispute over the Himalayan valley of Kashmir conflict, has laid the foundations of one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world.

Pakistan and Indian have not played a bilateral Test series since 2008 when already brittle ties were shattered by the Mumbai terror attacks.