The Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, recently said that China had apportioned 500,000 doses of its Sinovac vaccine for Pakistan, and the scheduled consignment is reportedly expected to reach Islamabad on 31 January.
Meanwhile, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccines for deployment in case of an emergency, and the clinical tests for Russia’s vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ have been completed.
The Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Special Initiatives, Asad Umar, said in a statement that the government plans to approve a third COVID-19 vaccine within the next few days.
DRAP will give the approval to the Russian vaccine for emergency use in the coming days as trials of the Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 have been completed in Pakistan.
Vaccine manufacturers in China will be giving preferential access and pricing to Pakistan. CanSino Biologics has offered 20 million shots to Pakistan and is awaiting the DRAP’s approval following its successful clinical results.
Discussing the government’s plan of action, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Health Sciences (UHS), Dr. Javed Akram, said that Pakistan needs more than the 500,000 doses originally scheduled for acquisition and that it is necessary to monitor the individuals who receive the vaccine in order to interpret the nature of the virus.
The vaccines prepared so far have a 75 percent to 95 percent efficacy rate.