ISLAMABAD, May 6 (Xinhua) -- The first batch of China's CanSino COVID-19 vaccines that the Pakistani government purchased in bulk has arrived in Pakistan, the CanSino Biologics Inc. said on Thursday.
Having arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday, the bulk vaccines will be packaged locally to support Pakistan's fight against COVID-19, the company told Xinhua.
On Monday, Special Assistant to the Pakistani Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan said that the local production of the single-dose CanSino COVID-19 vaccine is about to commence in the country to facilitate its vaccination drive.
The start of the local production of the CanSino vaccine will gradually make Pakistan largely self-sufficient in meeting its COVID-19 vaccine needs, he told local media.
In late March, the first batch of finished CanSino COVID-19 vaccines that the Pakistani government purchased from China arrived in Islamabad.
Earlier, the third phase trials of the CanSino vaccine had been conducted in Pakistan and it is the second Chinese COVID-19 vaccine that Pakistan approved for emergency use in the country.
Currently, Pakistan is facing a third wave of COVID-19 and the positivity rate has seen a sharp rise, forcing the Pakistani authorities to continue tightening the anti-pandemic measures and facilitating the vaccination drive.
A total of 4,198 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Pakistan during the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 845,833, out of which 18,537 died and 743,124 recovered, according to the data released by the country's health ministry on Thursday.