ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Health Services on Saturday issued a statement regarding the vaccination of Prime Minister Imran Khan after he tested positive for coronavirus.
The ministry clarified that the premier had not been “fully vaccinated” when he was diagnosed with the virus.
The health ministry clarified that the premier had only received the first dose of the vaccine, and that too merely 2 days ago.
It explained that that timeframe was “too soon for any vaccine to become effective”.
“Antibodies develop 2-3 weeks after the second dose of 2-dose COVID vaccines,” added the statement.
The diagnosis comes as the country grapples with a deadly third wave of a virus that has already killed nearly 13,800 people from more than 620,000 infections — although limited testing suggests real figures are likely much higher.
“At this point, the prime minister’s office can only confirm that the honourable prime minister has tested positive for COVID-19 and has self-isolated,” his office said.
The 68-year-old received a shot of the Chinese-produced Sinopharm vaccine on Thursday — one of over a million doses donated to Pakistan by Beijing.
Earlier Saturday, Khan’s adviser on health said the increase in positive virus cases over the past few days was “an alarming situation”.
The impoverished nation of 220 million has largely avoided the kind of major lockdowns seen in other countries, instead opting for “smart” containment policies which see neighbourhoods closed off for short periods.