Pakistan will allow the private sector to import vaccines for protection against the novel coronavirus, a senior health official confirmed on Sunday. "In addition to procurement by the government, if private companies get approval, through the normal process, they will be allowed to do so," Dr. Faisal Sultan, special assistant to the prime minister on health, told Anadolu Agency. This comes days after officials of the Health Ministry, and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan refuted media reports that private sector could purchase vaccines for those individuals that can afford to pay for them. Responding to a query if the government has finalized deals with any vaccine manufacturers, Sultan, who effectively acts as the health minister, said: "Not yet, but very soon." Earlier, he told Anadolu Agency that authorities were negotiating with China and Russia, among others, to procure the vaccines, and that frontline workers and senior citizens will be inoculated first.