Pakistan Approves Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 Vaccine

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) on Monday approved Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the second vaccine to be given approval for use in the country, reported Dawn.

Earlier, on Friday Drap had authorised the Oxford University-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan.

“In a meeting conducted by [the] Registration Board of Drap today January 18, 2021, another vaccine manufactured by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) has also been given EUA (emergency use authorisation),” a spokesperson for the regulatory body said in a statement.

Both the Oxford and Sinopharm vaccines were evaluated for their safety and quality and granted EUA “with certain conditions”, the statement added.

“This authorisation will be reviewed on a quarterly basis keeping in view further data regarding safety, efficacy and quality,” it said.

Sinopharm is developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a state-owned subsidiary conglomerate. The company had claimed the efficacy rate to be 79.3 per cent from last-stage trials, reported Dawn.

Meanwhile, China had approved the Sinopharm vaccine for general use in the last month itself. Also, it can be stored at two to eight degrees Celsius, or a normal refrigeration temperature.

It is also been approved in the UAE and Bahrain and is slated for use in Morocco too, reported Dawn.

It is an inactive vaccine, which means the virus was grown in a lab and then killed. The germ is then injected into the body to generate an immune response.

The final proof of the two-dose vaccine’s effectiveness will depend on the publication of more data, reported Dawn.

Earlier, on December 30, a special cabinet committee for procurement of COVID-19 vaccine, chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, had decided to procure 1.1 million doses of vaccine from Sinopharm. It was also announced that the vaccine would be provided to 500,000 frontline healthcare workers as two doses would be given to each worker and the margin of spoilage was 10 per cent. (ANI)

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