ISLAMABAD: China will provide a batch of COVID-19 vaccines to Pakistan as ‘aid’ and will work with ‘relevant’ companies to speed up the vaccine’s export to the South Asian country, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a press briefing on Friday.
The confirmation came a day after Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced that China had promised to provide 500,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine to Pakistan by January 31.
"In order to support our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, the Chinese government has decided to provide a batch of vaccines as aid and will actively coordinate with the relevant Chinese enterprise to speed up export of vaccines to Pakistan,” spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
Earlier in a tweet, Qureshi suggested the doses to Pakistan would be of the Sinopharm vaccine, which the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved for emergency use in the country earlier this week.
In contrast to many other vaccines, Sinopharm's vaccine can be stored in a normal refrigerator, at two to eight degrees Celsius. It has already been approved in the UAE and Bahrain.
The Chinese foreign ministry did not specify the number of doses that would be provided as aid to Pakistan.