China gifts Pakistan 500,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine: Foreign Minister
Moscow/Sputnik: China has sent 500,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine to Pakistan for free and pledged to send 1.1 million more doses by late February, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan approved the emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group.
"Always great to speak to my friend, His Excellency FM Wang Yi. With encouraging results of Chinese vaccine and our historic relationship, Pakistan has approved emergency use authorisation of SinoPharm. Indeed Pakistan greatly appreciates the 500,000 doses of the vaccine gifted by China," Qureshi wrote on Twitter.
The minister stressed that Beijing already provided significant technical and medical assistance to Islamabad, supporting Pakistan in the fight against the coronavirus.
"China has played an instrumental role in Pakistan's fight against #COVID19 with technical assistance and medical expertise," Qureshi said.
The minister added that China would send 1.1 million doses of the vaccine to Pakistan by late February.
On Saturday, Pakistan authorized the emergency use of the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine. According to the Pakistani health ministry, the country decided to inoculate its citizens for free and planned to vaccinate 70 percent of the 216-million-strong population by the end of 2021.
According to the latest data from the country's health ministry, more than 527,000 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Pakistan, over 480,000 people have recovered and the death toll has surpassed 11,100.