The first installment of the privately-imported Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Gam-COVID-Vac or Sputnik V, has arrived in Pakistan. The shipment comprising 50,000 doses was received at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on Wednesday night.
The vaccine will be available at all large hospitals and institutions for people who can afford it.
The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had granted emergency use authorization to the Russian COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021. Last week, the registration board of the DRAP had also declared the Russian vaccine suitable for the elderly population.
Russian trade representative in Karachi, Ruslan Aliev, congratulated the importing party while handing over the stock to AGP Limited officials.
I congratulate AGP Limited for receiving the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine comprising 50,000 doses. From now onwards, shipments of this highly effective COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered to Pakistan at regular intervals and help the country fight the pandemic.
Sputnik V is the first double-dose COVID-19 vaccine available in the private sector. Previously, the government of Pakistan was solely relying on the Chinese vaccine, Sinopharm, received as a donation by Chinese authorities. Sinopharm is being used to vaccine frontline health workers and people above 60 years of age.
At the occasion, officials of the pharmaceutical company, AGP, said that they have initially procured 50,000 jabs of the Russian vaccine, sufficient to be administered to 25,000 adults. The official noted that 150,000 more doses would arrive in the country by the end of this week.
This vaccine will be administered through hospitals and institutions that are authorized by the government as COVID-19 Vaccination Centers.
He added that the vaccine will be supplied to government-approved hospitals and institutions.