Pakistan set to register Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine
by Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 11 (Gwadar Pro) – Pakistan is set to register Chinese Sinopharm company’s coronavirus vaccine after the giant applied for registration over the weekend, officials said on Monday.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said there should be no problem for registration of the vaccine from a Chinese company.
“Pakistan is in talks with five international coronavirus vaccine producing companies for the purchase. We are in contact with five companies of three countries namely, China, United Kingdom and Russia to get the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.
Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) officials said China’s Sinopharm had sought permission for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan.
Sinopharm had announced that the vaccine had an efficacy rate of 79% based on early analysis of Phase 3 trials.
The vaccine has already been rolled out in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. The UAE began emergency use on September 14 and approved the vaccine for full use on December 6. Bahrain began inoculating health workers on December 13.
The Chinese vaccine firm has submitted the complete data of the clinical trials of its vaccine to the authority. A meeting of the DRAP registration board is expected to give a green signal this week.
“Initially, the registration board is likely to approve the vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan. The approval from the Drug Regulatory Authority will allow the use of the Chinese vaccine in Pakistan,” said a senior official.
Dr Faisal Sultan said the COVID-19 vaccine would be available in Pakistan in March, and administered to health workers and senior citizens in the first phase. He said that the government will also run a special campaign before launching the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Earlier, Pakistan had announced to purchase 1.2 million doses of the corona vaccine from China's Sinopharm, a state-run Chinese firm, developing two kinds of COVID-19 vaccines.
Pakistan is presently in the midst of another spate of infections, as death toll has passed 10,000 mark and total infections in the country have crossed 500,000 .