Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved the use of the AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine in Pakistan in case of emergency.
This is the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved in Pakistan.
Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health, told international news agency Reuters that DRAP has allowed the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in emergencies.
He said that Pakistan has already booked more than one million doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, however, approval for this vaccine from DRAP is still pending.
Dr Faisal Sultan said that they are currently in the process of procuring vaccines from the West and other countries through both bilateral procurement agreements and the COVAX Facility.
Pakistan is in talks with several COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, and Dr Sultan said that Pakistan could receive millions of doses of several vaccines under an agreement with China’s CanSinoBIO.
Clinical trials for the third phase of the vaccine in Pakistan are nearing completion.
Dr. Faisal Sultan said, “The effectiveness of vaccines is an important factor. We are witnessing a number of developments regarding the effectiveness of various vaccines.”
“Preliminary results of the CanSino vaccine are expected by mid-February, while Pakistan is also considering Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine,” he said.
“Our goal is to provide free vaccines to a large segment of the population, while the private sector will be allowed to import vaccines as long as the authorized company has a supply of vaccines,” he said.
The Special Assistant said that Pakistan has an ample supply of cold chain for many vaccines.