Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tested positive for Covid-19 two days after receiving his first vaccine dose.
Khan, 68, is “self-isolating at home,” Health Minister Faisal Sultan said in a tweet, and a close aide said he had a mild cough and fever.
Pakistan’s vaccination roll-out has been met with widespread vaccine hesitancy, and Khan’s positive test could serve as a setback to the mass inoculation drive in the country of 220 million people, health experts said.
Senior aides stressed that he had likely been infected before he was vaccinated on Thursday.
While it was not clear which vaccine the prime minister was given, the vaccine produced by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) is the only one available in Pakistan.
Vaccine hesitancy is common in Pakistan, which is one of two countries in the world where polio remains endemic due to widespread conspiracies against inoculation.
Khan’s positive test comes as Pakistan sees a steep rise in infections. According to numbers released by the government, 3,876 people tested positive in the last 24 hours – the highest number of daily infections since early July – taking the total number of infections in the country past 620,000.