UNITED NATIONS: A UN report released on Monday places Pakistan among the countries that have done fairly well in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

The analytical report, prepared by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), notes that on March 23, 2022, the cost of vaccinating 40 per cent of the population in Pakistan was 13.95pc of the country’s current health expenditure.

The UNDP placed this in the green zone of affordability, meaning that the country’s health system can deal with this extra burden. Pakistan’s Covid-19 risk index was 5.3, which was classified as high.

On March 23, the cost of vaccinating 40pc of the population in India was 8.65pc of the country’s current health expenditure and the Covid-19 risk index was 4.6, which was classified as medium.

In Pakistan, cured and/or expected vaccine supply in total doses as percentage of the population was 112.25pc. Vaccine doses received as a percentage of the population was 107.15pc.

In India, secured and/or expected vaccine supply in total doses as percentage of the population was 200.78pc. Vaccine doses received as a percentage of the population stood at 142.57pc.

Data from Unicef and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, shows that the average global cost per Covid-19 vaccine dose ranges between $2 – $40. The estimated distribution cost is $3.70 per person vaccinated with two doses, after accounting for vaccine wastage.

This represents a significant financial burden for low-income countries, where the average annual per capita health expenditure amounts to $41.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2022

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