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Pakistanis Travelling To SA Can Get AstraZeneca, Pfizer Vaccines: Dr Faisal

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan Tuesday said that Pakistanis travelling to Saudi Arabia can get the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines after showing documents at the mass vaccination centres.

The country’s top health official shared that the government has decided to revise guidelines for AstraZeneca vaccines and will allow citizens who are 18 or older to get the jab which was earlier restricted to those aged over 40.

Protests had erupted across the country asking the government to allow the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The kingdom has only approved Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, while in Pakistan, Chinese vaccines are mostly being used.

The SAPM said that Pakistanis who are travelling to Saudi Arabia can get the Oxford vaccine after showing their documents, adding that the government is in talks with Saudi health officials to allow Chinese vaccines.

Earlier, in May, the Pakistani health authorities had restricted the use of Oxford for people under 40.

He also urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure that the vaccines approved by it are universally acceptable and Pakistan is in talks with the Saudi authorities in this regard.

The WHO has granted emergency use listing of eight vaccines, including two Chinese vaccines.