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November 13, 2020

Initial recipients of potential Covid-19 vaccine identified

National

November 13, 2020

Islamabad: Appreciating the intense global efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in the shortest possible time and welcoming initial news regarding the development of a potentially effective vaccine, the Ministry of National Health Services Thursday announced that the government has prioritised groups most likely to be the initial recipients of a potential vaccine.

The measure is stated to have been taken in connection with the government’s COVID-19 vaccine strategy which has been developed in response to data and global best practices. An expert committee on COVID-19 vaccine, which comprises public health and infectious diseases experts from public and private sectors, has been the source of technical oversight and review of safety and efficacy data coming in from trials.

Another committee has been negotiating with leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers and has identified leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates for introduction in Pakistan which includes companies from across the globe. “The government is also in close contact with COVAX and the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunisation through which it is expecting to negotiate a significant quantity of vaccine for the Pakistani population as early as possible. Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine are also in progress in Pakistan,” an official statement from the Ministry informs.

The Ministry maintains that full trial data is awaited and only after the availability and review of this data will the situation be clear. “In the meantime, other vaccine manufacturers are also expected to publish preliminary results of their human trial in coming weeks, which are been keenly observed in the global community and experts in Pakistan,” it states.

The Prime Minister has shown special interest in ensuring availability of quality vaccine at the earliest for the Pakistani population. The government has, in principle, approved specific funding to obtain an effective vaccine. In addition, the government is making arrangements for effective supply chain management of vaccine and required manpower needs where required.

Furthermore, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is also working to streamline the regulatory process for its registration without compromising the vaccine safety and efficacy. All the above efforts are expected to ensure availability of an effective and safe vaccine, as and when it becomes available globally.