India will supply the COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan under the COVAX initiative, which is a global alliance for supplying vaccine around the world. As per the reports, the quantity or the number of vaccine doses that Pakistan will receive hasn’t been decided yet. Also, it could take some more time before the logistics and the approvals come through. But the vaccine will directly be sent from India to Pakistan.
The news comes weeks after the two south Asian countries decided to abide by a 2003 ceasefire agreement and agreed to stop firing at the LOC.
Pakistan’s drug regulator had, for the unaware, approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use earlier in January 2021.
India, now being called worldwide the Pharmacy of the world, has supplied vaccines to over 65 countries across the globe. While some of the countries had to pay to receive the vaccine, other countries received it for free as a humanitarian gesture by India. Bangladesh has received the most number of vaccines from India i.e. 90 lakhs doses.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs records, 579.19 lakh doses have been supplied in all. About 163 lakh doses have been supplied under Covax, 77 lakh doses under the grant and 338 lakh doses under commercial deals.
The COVAX initiative came up last year in April. It is an alliance set up by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and World Health Organization. Under the initiative, 20% of the world population across 190 countries will receive the COVID-19 vaccine for free.
The vaccines will be sent to Pakistan despite a pause in bilateral trade between the two countries for the last two years.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 Cases in India have also begun to increase in the last couple of weeks. Amidst the increase, the government of India has asked the states to increase vaccination and assured them that there is no shortage of the same.
As of now, over 2,40,37,644 vaccine doses have been given, as per the provisional report until 7 pm Tuesday.