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Islamabad: On Thursday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan briefed the media regarding the government's plan to vaccinate the public against the novel coronavirus.

Pakistan’s de facto health chief, Dr. Sultan announced that the government will be providing Covid-19 vaccines absolutely free of cost to the public. Also, the government aims to vaccinate about 70% of the eligible population by the end of 2021.

He also mentioned that the first batch of doses will be given to frontline healthcare providers in the first quarter followed by the elderly aged over 65 and the general public in the third phase. So far over 300,000 healthcare workers have been registered by the PTI government who will be given Covid jabs.

Another positive development that happened yesterday regarding the coronavirus vaccinations in the country was the announcement by the foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi that the Chinese government has promised to send 500,000 free doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan by January 31.

Pakistani and Chinese foreign ministers clicked together.
Pakistani and Chinese foreign ministers clicked together.

Qureshi took to Twitter, writing:

Always great to speak to my friend, His Excellency FM Wang Yi. With encouraging results of the Chinese vaccine and our historic relationship, Pakistan has approved the emergency use authorization of SinoPharm. Indeed Pakistan greatly appreciates the 500,000 doses of the vaccine gifted by China.

SAPM's statement about free vaccination is being welcomed by the general population. But the question is that can a third world country knee-deep in debts can afford it? Only time will tell if the government is successfully able to pull off this huge task or not.