The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the federal government’s decision to ask provinces and the private sector to import the coronavirus vaccine.
As per the details, with the Cabinet Committee on Procurement of COVID-19 Vaccine briefing Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on efforts being made to engage more pharmaceutical companies for procurement, HRCP has said that the government’s decision in this regard was not the right step.
“It is the responsibility of the federal government to provide vaccines at heavily subsidised rates to the poor masses which form a majority of the country’s population,” read a statement by the rights watchdog.
“The people of lower-income groups are struggling hard to survive the unprecedented economic crisis unleashed by misplaced priorities and pro-rich policies of the federal government. The foreign aid received and funding allocated for fighting the pandemic must be used transparently and spent on vaccinating the citizens,” the HRCP said.
It also expressed concern after reports appearing in the electronic and social media that some of the agents in Karachi had started pre-booking of AstraZeneca vaccine for Rs 20,000 per dose.
Earlier, the PM was informed that two vaccines had been registered for emergency use and efforts for fast-track registration of more vaccines were under way.
He was also told that that the vaccine would be available within the first quarter of the current year.