According to the figures released by the senior journalist Omar Qureshi, Pakistan’s percentage of the population given at least one Covid vaccine dose is 0.25%, the lowest in the region. Pakistan is far behind India, which has vaccinated around 4.02% of its population. The Maldives is leading the region in terms of vaccination with 42.07% of its population having received their first COVID vaccine dose, followed by Nepal with 5.49%, India with 4.02%, and Sri Lanka with 3.92%.
Percentage of population given at least one Covid vaccine dose
Sri Lanka 3.92%
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) March 26, 2021
Earlier, Transparency International Pakistan, a global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption, had urged the federal government to put a complete ban on the private import of Covid-19 vaccine for commercial sale in the country.
In a letter written to the ministry of National Health Services, Regulations & Coordination (NHSR&C), former Justice Nasira Iqbal – Vice-Chairperson TI Pakistan pointed out that internationally, a single dose of Sputnik V cost $10. If we apply the DRAP pricing formula, Sputnik V’s two doses price in Pakistan should be Rs 1600 + 40% = 2240*2 = 4480. However, the DRAP approved price for two doses is Rs. 8, 449 which is 89pc higher.
The watchdog further added that “as a deliberate policy tool, the private sector has been allowed to import vaccine to cater to such segments of the society, which were not on the immediate priority list of the government.”
The letter further demanded an answer as to why Pakistan is the only country in the world to allow the private import of the COVID-19 vaccine for commercial sale. The biggest objection of Transparency International Pakistan is that with the permission of commercial sale of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are possibilities that some of the government’s vaccine may end up illegally in the private hospitals for commercial sale.