Pakistan to procure worth Rs20 bn Chinese vaccine
ISLAMABAD (June1, 2021): Pakistan approved Rs20 billion for the procurement of 10 million doses of China-made vaccines, and handed over the responsibility to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). Earlier, the Ministry of Health was tasked with such matters.
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet approved supplementary grant of $130 million that is equal to approximately Rs20 billion for procurement of vaccines, the Ministry of Finance said.
NDMA to procure vaccine
The money will be given to the NDMA to ensure timely procurement of the coronavirus vaccine for the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Cost and finances
A single dose would cost $13 or Rs2002, bringing the price of two jabs per person to Rs4004, according to the Ministry of National Health Services.
These funds will be utilised for the procurement of 10 million doses of Covid vaccine during the month of June 2021, said the finance ministry.
During the new financial year, the need for additional funds will be reviewed and additional funds will be provided accordingly, it added.
Initially, the NDMA had sought $500 million grant for the procurement of vaccines between June and December this year. However, the Ministry of Finance agreed to give only $130 million or Rs20 billion for this fiscal year and promised to consider subsequent need of additional funds in the next fiscal year.
Explore external loan
Further, the finance ministry again asked the NDMA to seek external loans for the procurement of vaccines instead of requesting money from the budget.
The finance ministry also advised to explore the option to reimburse the expenditures on vaccine procurements by the international financial institutions.
Massive vaccination drive
Minister for Planning Asad Umar said the government had decided to run massive COVID vaccination drive across the country to achieve the target of providing 70 million vaccines to the people.
So far, about 5.3 million people have been vaccinated in the country. He said there was no issue of vaccine availability he added.