Pakistan’s first-ever locally-made vaccine ‘PakVac’
In its fight against Covid-19, Pakistan has accomplished a great feat! It has finally begun the production of homemade vaccine ‘PakVac’ with the help of China’s single-dose CanSino Bio at the National Institute of Health (NIH).
National Health Services announced that the first batch of the single-dose PakVac Covid-19 vaccine would be accessible for inoculation to the citizens by the end of this month.
An official of NIH stated that over 4300 reports of vaccine adverse effects were reported and all of those were mild; only six were serious which were looked into thoroughly.
The National Control Lab for Biologicals of the DRAP will thoroughly examine the vaccine and give a final green signal. This will allow the vaccine to be rolled out in the next week. This facility will be able to produce three million doses per month.
What was the need for PakVac?
Earlier this month, the Covid-19 vaccine was unavailable – due to a shortage of vaccines, Chinese or others, or private sales and higher prices – that led to critics stating that only the wealthy are being inoculated. Two doses of Russian Sputnik cost as high as Rs.13,000 while the monthly salary of an average person is only R15,000.
In order to curb these grave concerns, the locally-made vaccine was developed. The move was also taken to control Pakistan’s dependence on other countries for the Covid-19 vaccine.
So far 5,574,823 people in Pakistan have been administered Covid-19 vaccines that include three Chinese vaccines Sinopharm, SinoVac and CanSino, Russian Sputnik, and Oxford AstraZeneca.
The country commenced its vaccination campaign in February starting with frontline workers and then the senior citizens in the second phase. Currently, Pakistan is inoculating vaccines to those aged 30 and above, making around 100 million out of 220 million people eligible for the vaccine. It is also noteworthy to mention that 200,000 people in the country are vaccinated on a daily basis.
COVID-19 nasal vaccine in final trials
On the other hand, The University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore has begun working on protocols to commence trials for a single dose nasal Covid-19 vaccine. The clinical trial for the nasal vaccine will start in six to eight weeks after conformity from three different health committees is obtained.
Overall, 903,599 people have been so far affected by the novel Coronavirus; out of which 820,374 recovered and 20,308 died.
Currently, the positivity ratio of Covid-19 is 4.8 countrywide with, 46,726 tests conducted, 2,253 people, tested positive, and 92 deaths in the last 24 hours.
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