Pakistan on Saturday gave nod to India manufactured AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use. The approval was given by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap). However, Pakistan is in a fix to move ahead and ask India for the same.
On being asked whether they will be getting the vaccine from India, Pakistan media quoting Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said, “Registrations should not be mixed with availability or procurement of the vaccine. We have registered the vaccine as its efficacy is over 90pc and will try to get it through alternative arrangements. What is more important is that it will enable us to acquire the vaccine through ‘Covax’ as it cannot be allowed in the country without Drap’s approval”.
Pakistan to use Indian manufactured AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine
Covax is an alliance set up by Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and World Health Organisation in April 2020 and has pledged provision to provide free vaccine for 20pc of the population of around 190 countries which includes Pakistan as well. Pakistan is hoping to get the first batch of vaccines post-March, 2021. Pakistan is also expected to register the Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm’s medicine next week.
“ We are going to register a few more vaccines, including Sinopharm’s, in the coming weeks as we have a large population and therefore will require vaccines from a number of countries, including China,” Dr Sultan was quoted.
However, Pakistan is relying on the Covax and it’s ‘dear friend’ China for the vaccine rollout as they are of the view that India will first cater its entire population and then will look ahead for any other country. The fact, however, remains Pakistan’s wrongdoings that it has to wait for Covax and China for vaccine rollout but cannot ask India for the same.
“Moreover, a few more vaccines will also be approved in the coming weeks which will pave the way for importing the drug through the private sector and ensuring its availability in the market,” another Pakistani Health Official was quoted.