China’s Sinopharm seeks approval from Pakistan for Covid vaccine

ISLAMABAD: China’s Sinopharm has sought permission from Pakistan for emergency use of its Covid-19 vaccine in the country.

Sinopharm has applied for registration of its coronavirus vaccine to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP). The Chinese vaccine firm has submitted the complete data of the clinical trials of its vaccine to the DRAP.

Earlier, Pakistan had announced to purchase 1.2 million doses of the corona vaccine from China. Sinopharm, a state-run Chinese firm, is developing two Covid-19 vaccines.

A session of the DRAP registration board is expected to be held this week, according to sources at the authority. The registration board may approve or reject the vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan. The approval from the top drug authority will allow the use of the Chinese vaccine in Pakistan.

Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Imran Khan on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said on Saturday that Pakistan is in talks with five international coronavirus vaccine producing companies for the purchase.

Talking to a private television channel, Dr Faisal said that Islamabad is in contact with five companies of the three countries of the world including China, United Kingdom and Russia to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The vaccine, he said, 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.

The federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan recently allowed the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination to purchase Covid-19 vaccine.

According to details, SAPM Dr Faisal briefed the cabinet on the current Covid-19 situation in Pakistan.

It is to be noted that the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) had already approved a supplementary grant for the advance purchases of the vaccines. Pakistan has planned to vaccinate health workers and senior citizens in the first phase in a bid to save them from the deadly pandemic.

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