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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Saturday said that Pakistanis going abroad will be given the Moderna vaccine as some countries are not accepting Chinese vaccines. Umar, who also heads the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), appreciated the "progressive policy" of US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on COVID-19.

"Received 2.5 million doses of Moderna sent by the US government. This will particularly for those who have to travel for work or study to countries which are only accepting certain vaccines," the federal minister tweeted.

This is the first shipment of the two-dose Moderna vaccines that the country has received. It is the third non-Chinese vaccine now available in Pakistan.

Earlier, the UK-made AstraZeneca and US-made Pfizer were being inoculated in the country alongside China's Sinopharm, Sinovac and Cansino vaccines.

The vaccine will also be used for those looking to travel abroad as Chinese vaccines are not approved in many countries.

Expats have been staging protests across the country to get the vaccines approved by European and Gulf countries as these are mandatory before travel and shortage of these vaccines have created problems for the government.

On Friday, Pakistan received 2.5 million doses of Moderna vaccines donated by the US under the COVAX programme.

According to a US Embassy statement, this donation is part of the 80 million doses the United States is sharing with the world, delivering on its pledge to facilitate equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines, which are essential to ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The United States Mission to Pakistan is pleased to share these safe and effective vaccines with the people of Pakistan," US Embassy Chargé d'affaires Angela P Aggeler had said in the statement.

"These vaccines will save lives and help Pakistan emerge from this crisis, which has devastated so many families and communities in both our countries. A vaccinated public will also help bring back the economic and social interactions we all welcome. We appreciate the ongoing collaboration with the Pakistani government and our international partners to make this delivery and these goals a reality."

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