Pakistan Air Force plane has carried 500,000 Chinese-based Sinovac coronavirus vaccine, orders for which were placed earlier in the year.
On Thursday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), in a statement said that Pakistan had paid for the vaccine doses and clarified that it was not via donation from China.
Earlier this month, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had granted emergency authorization to the SinoVac’s vaccine, CoronaVac.
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This was the 5th coronavirus vaccine and the 3rd Chinese vaccine to have been used in Pakistan. However, earlier, Pakistan had granted the authorization to China’s two-dose Sinopharm and single-dose Convidecia vaccine developed by the Cansino Biologicals. DRAP also approved UK’s AstraZeneca and Russian Sputnik V vaccines.
Despite its low efficacy rate, the CoronaVac vaccine, was allowed by the health authorities to eradicate the third wave of the pandemic in Pakistan.
An official of the Drug Regulatory Authority said in this regard: “DRAP’s registration board in its 304th meeting … gave Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to CoronaVac vaccine, developed by the Sinovac Life Sciences Company, based in Beijing, China.”
Moreover, Pakistan has prepared to purchase at least 100,000 doses of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine of Pfizer BioNTech through COVAX by June 2021.
According to officials, for preparation earlier, the country has already acquired and installed ultra-cold chain (UCC) refrigerators in Islamabad and all the federating units for storage of the vaccine.
An official of the National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination had said: “COVAX has assured us of providing at least 100,000 doses of mRNA vaccine of Pfizer BioNTech by June this year. On their assurance, we have acquired and installed 23 UCC refrigerators throughout Pakistan.”
“COVAX has assured to provide us 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca by May-June from a non-Indian source,” the official said.
“We are quite satisfied with the assurance and are planning to open the registration of all the adults in the country after Eid-ul-Fitr,” the official said.