ISLAMABAD — Pakistan will start coronavirus vaccinations for foreign health workers and other foreigners, including Afghan refugees, who are older than 60 as COVID-19 deaths surge in this impoverished nation.
The government is not charging for the vaccinations, which were being given only to Pakistani health workers and older people. That left foreigners relying on vaccines imported by the private sector, which are expensive.
After four decades of war and conflict in neighboring Afghanistan, more than 1.5 million Afghans live as refugees in Pakistan.
The government notification said vaccinations of foreign health workers will be handled on parity with Pakistani health workers. Dr. Rana Mohammad Safdar, a senior health official, said Tuesday that instructions have been issued to relevant authorities in this regard.
On Tuesday, Pakistan reported 103 deaths from COVID-19, one of the highest single-day fatalities since January.
Pakistan has had 696,184 cases and 14,924 deaths from the disease since last year.