Single dose CanSino to be available by May end in Pakistan - GulfToday

Single dose CanSino to be available by May end in Pakistan


A woman receives Sinovac vaccine at the Red Crescent vaccination centre in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, on Monday. AFP

Tariq Butt, Correspondent

The National Institute of Health (NIH) of Islamabad has begun the production of a single-dose Chinese coronavirus vaccine believing the initiative will help meet Pakistan's vaccine needs.

A total of 124,000 CanSino jabs have been developed with China’s support which would be rolled out in local packaging during the current week, an official said and added that Pakistan was among the first countries to take part in the clinical trial of CanSino vaccine. Its local production comes after the successful clinical trial in the country.

The official said Chinese firm CanSino Biologics Inc had provided the NIH the raw material and technology for vaccine production and even sent in experts to oversee the exercise. He said the vaccine was produced by Pakistani experts under the supervision of Chinese experts but its second batch would be prepared solely by the NIH.

He said the NIH's quality control division was currently examining the locally manufactured vaccine and initial trials had proved it was safe to be administered. They said the documents pertaining to the vaccine production would be submitted to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) for approval.

The DRAP's National Control Lab for Biologicals will examine the vaccine and give a final approval for its use in the country, the official said. The countrywide vaccine supply will begin shortly after the approval.

He said China not only donated vaccines and other supplies to Pakistan for fighting coronavirus but also transferred the technology of vaccine production to it. They said the local production of CanSino vaccine would gradually make the country largely self-sufficient in meeting the COVID-19 vaccine needs.

The official said Pakistan has around 100 million people eligible for COVID-19 vaccination and the government wanted to vaccinate 70 million by the end of 2021. They said currently, the vaccine was administered to over 200,000 people daily and efforts were under way to take the number to 300,000.

Around three million people have already been vaccinated against the virus in the country. Pakistan is a vaccine insecure country but the local vaccine production would ease its dependence on other countries.

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