Chinese Sinopharm is one of the best Covid vaccines globally available: Interior Minister
by Shafqat Ali
Islamabad, June 7: Pakistani Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Sunday afternoon that Chinese Sinopharm was one of the best Covid vaccines available in the whole world.
Speaking to journalists here after inaugurating a coronavirus vaccination facility here, he said Sinopharm is one of the best vaccines available across the globe. “I salute the Chinese government for their cooperation with Pakistan in combating the pandemic,” he added.
The minister also pointed out that more people were willing to get vaccinated now and previously, there was “propaganda against vaccination” in the country.
Congratulating the National Command Operation Center (NCOC) team for ensuring smooth supply of vaccine, the minister said that NCOC ensured supply of vaccine.
He said that vaccines in Pakistan, on the other hand, were widely available and that the Sinopharm vaccine was one of the “best vaccines available in the world.”
To a question, Ahmed said Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was active in getting approval for Chinese vaccines from Saudi Arabia and some other Middle East (ME) countries.
The Interior Minister said PM Imran Khan had told the recent cabinet meeting that he was in talks with the Saudi Arabian and other ME countries’ leadership to get clearance for the Chinese vaccines which are widely being used by the Pakistanis.
Saudi Arabia is among the few countries that do not recognise vaccination certificates of Chinese vaccines despite the fact that the World Health Organisation has now registered at least two Chinese-manufactured vaccines - Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Until now, the vaccines recommended by the Saudi Kingdom for use are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. The Saudi decision has panicked the Pakistani people who work in Saudi Arabia or intend to perform Hajj - the annual pilgrimage.
Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has already announced that citizens intending to go for Hajj this year, those working abroad on work visas issued by countries that did not recognise vaccination certificates of Chinese vaccines and students planning to go to educational institutions in such countries within a month would be given priority for the administration of Pfizer as its stock was limited.
But he warned that countries not accepting vaccination certificates of Chinese vaccines would turn out to be a problem for the entire world if a decision was not taken on the issue at the global level.
“If every country makes it mandatory for visitors to be inoculated by their choice of vaccine brands, the entire world would suffer,” he said, adding that Chinese Covid-19 vaccines were the most exported brands in the world at present.