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Tuesday November 30, 2021

AstraZeneca interested in getting COVID-19 vaccine registered in Pakistan

A local company has submitted AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine data to DRAP

By Web Desk
January 14, 2021
Representational image. — The News/File

British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has sought permission from Pakistan to get its COVID-19 vaccine registered in the country, Geo News reported Thursday, citing sources said.

A local pharmaceutical company has submitted AstraZeneca's vaccine data to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).

The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, which was granted its first approval by Britain late December, is cheaper and easier to use than some rival shots, thus providing major advantages in tackling a pandemic that has claimed more than 1.8 million lives worldwide.

However, it has been plagued with uncertainty about its most effective dosage ever since data published in November showed a half-dose followed by a full dose had a 90% success rate while two full shots were 62% effective.

Two days back, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan had said Pakistan was hopeful it would receive the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine from China’s Sinopharm in “early February".

Pakistan said last month it would purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from Sinopharm in the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase as the country battles the second wave of infections.

“We hope to be able to get vaccine doses from Sinopharm in the first quarter of this year, hopefully starting in early February,” Dr Sultan said in an interview with Arab News, adding that the government aims to begin the process of vaccination within the first quarter of this year.

“We are hoping to deploy the vaccine within the first quarter. The 1.1 million doses are just the first phase,” he said.