As the fight against COVID-19 continues and the death toll rises every day, private companies have now been granted permission to import the COVID-19 Vaccines. Although thus far, governments have kept control of vaccine distribution, private companies are being given the permit on account of rising deaths in Pakistan.
Only registered vaccines, produced by credible pharmaceutical companies will be imported. An additional condition on import is that the vaccine is already in use in the country of origin. However, no price cap is being set for the time being. But will be set once the vaccine is easily available on the international market.
The current lack of a price cap may cause alarm; however, it is a result of the lack of vaccine availability on the private international market. Currently, the vaccine is only being sold through bilateral treaties between governments.
Pakistan’s Current Immunization Campaign
Currently, Pakistan has secured 500,000 doses from China and has already booked another 1.1 million doses from the Chinese Sinopharm. Additionally, COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access) has pledged to give Pakistan 17 million doses by the end of March. The government-led immunization campaign against COVID-19 began on 2nd February.
According to Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Aide to the Prime Minister, the government will remain the primary provider of the vaccine. However, the private route is currently being operationalized, for those who can afford it in the private market, given the current state of things.