Pakistan’s prime minister Thursday got the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine as the country faced another peak of infections, an official statement said.

According to the statement issued by the premier’s office, Imran Khan received the first jab of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

President Arif Alvi also received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine on March 15.

Following vaccination, Khan appealed to the nation to follow health guidelines amid the third wave of the pandemic.

The country’s nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign is underway, with the first phase targeting the elderly and frontline workers.

Pakistan’s longtime ally China has already provided one million doses of Sinopharm vaccine as a gift to Islamabad.

The South Asian country of over 200 million people began its vaccination campaign for the frontline health workers on Feb. 2 and for people above 60 on March 10. 

Last month, the government said it had secured 17 million doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca through the WHO-led COVAX initiative.

Pakistan is currently facing the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic as cases spiked in the country over the last week.

The country reported 3,495 new cases in the last 24 hours, a highest daily number since Dec. 7, 2020.

With new cases, the total number of infections jumped to 615,810, according to the Health Ministry. With 61 new fatalities, the death toll rose to 13,717.

Authorities already closed all educational institutions in major cities of northeastern Punjab and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces until March 28 to curb the virus’ spread.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.