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May 9, 2021

Pakistan receives 1.238m doses of AstraZeneca vaccine

Ag APP

KARACHI/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has received first consignment of around 1.238 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 vaccine through a commercial flight on the night between Friday and Saturday in Islamabad.

Women below the age of 40 would not be administered the AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan as its safety data is pending, federal health authorities Saturday said. “Some restrictions on use (of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine) in younger women may be put in place, as an interim”, Special Assistant to Prime Minister SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan told The News when asked if the people in Pakistan would be offered alternative to AstraZeneca’s vaccine due to its safety issues. “In a pandemic with short supply (of vaccines), the pick and choose method is not workable”, Dr Faisal Sultan maintained and added that a committee of experts was looking into the safety data and issued some modification in use guidelines. The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS,R&C), in the meanwhile, issued “AstraZeneca Vaccine Interim Guidelines” based on the recommendations of the expert committee comprising infectious diseases experts and vaccinologists, directing the authorities not to vaccinate women below 40 years with the AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The set of guidelines further states that the vaccine should not be administered to people with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component (e.g polysorbate) of the vaccine formulation while it is also not recommended for persons younger than 18 years .