PAKISTAN announced on Wednesday (9) it will spend $1.1 billion (£904 million) on procuring the Covid-19 vaccine to inoculate eligible adults.
The Economic Coordination Council (ECC) “expressed the government’s commitment to provide $1.1 bn (£904 m) for procurement of Covid-19 vaccine,” the finance ministry said in a statement.
It said the money will be spent to inoculate between 45 million and 65 million eligible adults this year in the country of 220 million.
The ECC approved $70m (£57m) on Wednesday to top up $130m (£106m) it sanctioned in May.
The vaccine will be procured by the military-run National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the statement said.
“Thank God, we have succeeded in administering 10 million vaccines (doses),” the minister in charge for Covid-19 operations, Asad Umar, told a ceremony to mark the milestone in Islamabad.
“Our target is to vaccinate up to 70 million people by the end of this year,” he said.
Pakistan faced initial vaccination hesitancy and a shortage of supplies, but it started a mass vaccination campaign late last month.
It has relied heavily on China for vaccine supplies, with three out of six approved does coming from Chinese producers: Sinopharm, SinoVac and CanSinoBio.
Pakistan has secured more than 18 million doses in donations and purchases and has also started producing the single dose Chinese CanSinoBio vaccine, with the hope of making three million doses a month.