What the Ministry of National Health Services is saying: Dr Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of NHS, has stated Pakistan will receive the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January. Currently, it is not known which vaccine Pakistan will receive.
Earlier developments: A week prior to this statement, Fawad Chaudhry tweeted, “The Cabinet Committee has decided to initially purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine from the Chinese company Sinopharm, which will be provided free of cost to frontline workers in the first quarter of 2021”
What you need to know about the Sinopharm vaccine: The vaccine has been developed by the state controlled manufacturer, Sinopharm, and has an efficacy rate of 79 percent based on an interim analysis of Phase 3 trials. China itself is planning to vaccinate 50 million of its people by mid-February. While the vaccine’s efficacy is above the 50% requirement, it is still much lower than the coronavirus vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, which have an efficacy rate of about 95 percent.