- Says each country deciding which Covid-19 vaccine is acceptable for travel to that country is creating chaos
Karachi: Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said on Thursday that global institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) should be the deciding force behind the acceptability of coronavirus vaccines for travel across the world.
In a tweet, the minister said that each country deciding which Covid-19 vaccine is acceptable for travel to that country is creating chaos.
"The health and well-being of world citizens cannot become hostage to global geostrategic rivalries," the minister tweeted.
Saudi Arabia and some other countries in the Middle East are not accepting certificates of the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccine.
Saudi Arabia has updated its travel restrictions, which includes requirements to take Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in order to enter the kingdom, leaving out Sinopharm and Sinovac despite it being approved by WHO.
In Pakistan, most of the vaccines being administered are Chinese, preventing expats from leaving for their workplaces abroad. Overseas Pakistanis have been demanding that they should only be administered the Pfizer vaccine.
However, the federal government has said that patients with chronic ailments such as heart disease, asthma, cancer, liver complications will be given priority for the Pfizer vaccine.
Later, in a bid to help inoculate the overseas Pakistanis so that they can go to their respective workplaces abroad, the government lifted the restriction for use of AstraZeneca for below 40 years.