Fiza Batool Gilani, an entrepreneur and the daughter of Yusuf Raza Gilani, the former prime minister, said she knew several young people who had lined up and got the free government vaccine in recent weeks.
“I was offered a free vaccine myself, but I refused because I wanted to take advantage of the private vaccine,” said Ms. Gilani. Rich people should pay for their doses, she said, adding that her family would pay for CanSino’s injections for her household staff.
Many people, like Tehmina Sadaf, do not have this option.
Ms. Sadaf, 35, lives with her husband and a seven-year-old son in a working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of Islamabad. Her husband is a clergyman in a mosque. She gives Koran lessons to young children. She said the pandemic had negatively impacted the family’s income of around $ 128 per month. “After paying the rent for the house and the electricity bill, we don’t have much left,” she said.
She had doubts about the public vaccine, “but the price of the private vaccine is very high,” she said. “It should have been lower so poor people like us could afford it as well.”
Zia ur-Rehman contributed reporting from Karachi, Pakistan. Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono contribution to reports.