The Pakistan government changed its guidelines for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, which will now only be permitted to inoculate people with weakened immune systems.
The decision has been made in light of the new agreement with the global vaccination initiative COVAX, according to the National Ministry of Health.
The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine was originally reserved by Pakistan for Hajj pilgrims, individuals work visas and students studying abroad.
The federal government has started distributing the vaccines to the provinces, with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr Faisal Sultan stating that the vaccine will be distributed across 15 cities nationwide for people with low immunity.
Through COVAX, Pakistan has received 106,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with the first 51,000 doses being distributed to provinces as follows:
- Punjab: 26,000
- Sindh: 12,000
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 8,000
- Balochistan: 2,000
- Islamabad: 1,000
- Azad Jammu and Kashmir: 100
- Gilgit-Baltistan: 1,000
Dr Sultan added that the Pfizer vaccine will be available for the time being at government vaccination centers, and that the government would be purchasing more doses in the foreseeable future.
Sindh is expected to start administering the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to pregnant women and students enrolled in foreign universities in the next two to three days, according to Sindh Health Secretary Qasim Soomro.