Pakistan approves Sinopharm vaccine for people above 60 years

Sinopharm vaccines

The Chinese Covid-19 Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), authorized for people over 60 years of age. 

On Thursday, DRAP gave authorization to the use Covid-19 Sinopharm vaccine, confirmed spokesperson Sajid Shah, Ministry of National Health Services (NHS). He said that all healthcare workers registered with Nims (National Immunization Management System) who were above 60 years can now be inoculated from designated Covid vaccine centers after the authorization by Drap. 

Furthermore, Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health (SAPM) said a month before that a Sinopharm shot was not suggested for people older than 60 years and now the vaccine has been approved for people above 60 years.  

The expert committee recommended that the vaccine should be licensed for people aged 18-60 “at this stage”, shared Dr. Sultan by adding that this was not an “unusual” scenario. 

Read More: Pakistan to get 5.6mn coronavirus vaccine doses in March

“When new medicines come, such things happen and the basis is whether that [age group of the] population or people with certain conditions were included in the research for it. When we get more data, perhaps it will be used for people above 60 as well.” 

However, frontline healthcare workers were vaccinated in the very first phase and the registration process for healthcare workers who did not work on the frontline began from February 22, includes doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, etc.  

In the second phase, the vaccination campaign will start this week after when the country will receive 2.8 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine through the Covax programme. This phase is related to the senior citizens, will be inoculated.  

On the other hand, the health ministry spokesperson told the media that the delivery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through Covax had been deferred. “We will get syringes next week and vaccine will arrive by mid or maybe in the second half of March,”  

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