Pakistan is reportedly not planning to buy Covid-19 vaccines anytime soon and instead will mostly rely on international donors for free vaccine doses to inoculate the people of the country against the Coronavirus.

While briefing the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of National Assembly, Pakistan's National Health Service (NHS) Secretary Amir Ashraf Khawaja said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan led government aims to tackle the Covid-19 health challenge through herd immunity and donated vaccines as it has no plan to buy vaccines at least during the current year.

The NHS secretary informed the PAC that Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm had committed to providing one million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, of which 500,000 doses had been handed over to Pakistan, reports Dawn.

Further, Pakistan will also get 16 million free doses of 'Made in India' Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine through Gavi alliance (formerly Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization), according to the NHS secretary.

GAVI, officially Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public–private global health partnership with the goal of increasing access to immunisation in poor countries.

In response to a question by the PAC chairman Rana Tanveer Hussain, the NHS secretary said Pakistan would get the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine made by Serum Institute of India by the middle of March and the rest was expected to arrive in the country by June.

“We wouldn’t need to purchase much,” the NHS secretary said while reply to a question by the PAC Chairman on whether the government was waiting to get free vaccine.