China Assures Pakistan of Providing Over One Million Doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine, Says Islamabad

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Pakistan on Thursday said China has assured it of providing over one million doses of coronavirus vaccine, developed by Sinopharm, for emergency use. Earlier in the day, China granted conditional approval to its first homegrown coronavirus vaccine developed by state-owned pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm. According to media reports, Pakistan has decided to pre-book the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use for healthcare workers.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi called his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and exchanged views on COVID-19, bilateral relations, and regional and international issues of mutual interest, the Foreign Office said. During the conversation, Wang assured that China would work to provide over one million doses of the vaccine to Pakistan for emergency use, it said. Qureshi underlined that both Pakistan and China were making efforts to contain and combat the coronavirus and have established various mechanisms which were playing a useful role in controlling the pandemic, resuming economic growth and restoring supply chains across the region.

Noting that China has made remarkable achievements in developing COVID-19 vaccines, Qureshi said ”the Phase-III clinical trials of China’s vaccine were progressing well in Pakistan”. He added that the government has approved Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan and expressed hope for its early availability from China.

Reaffirming ”the depth and breadth of Pakistan and China’s all-weather strategic co-operative partnership”, Qureshi supported China on issues of its core interests, including Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and South China Sea, the Foreign Office said. He also briefed Wang on Pakistan’s ties with India.

Wang expressed satisfaction over Pakistan and China’s cooperation on regional and international issues. He expressed hope that the next year would witness further deepening of the ”time-tested relationship” between China and Pakistan, the Foreign Office said.