ISLAMABAD: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted go-ahead to locally made COVID-19 vaccine.
Locally made coronavirus vaccine PakVac will be available for general use in the ongoing week, sources said. The National Conrol Lab for Biologicals (NCLB) of the DRAP has issued certificate to PakVac for lot release after the vaccine passed the testing, sources said. The first ever COVID-19 vaccine developed in Pakistan ‘PakVac’ has passed testing and is ready for use.
The single-dose vaccine made with the help of China’s CanSino Biologics at the National Institute of Health (NIH). In the first phase a total of 124,000 CanSino shots have been developed, the sources at the Ministry of National Health said. Earlier, vigorous testing of the PakVac at NIH found the vaccine safe and effective against the COVID-19, sources said.
According to an official of the ministry, the first batch of bulk CanSino vaccine was processed at the NIH plant, which was set up for this purpose last month. The vaccine was produced by Pakistani experts under the supervision of a Chinese team.
The concentrate of the vaccine was provided by CanSino Biologics, sources said. The next consignment of the vaccine will be produced by the Pakistani experts, according to sources.
The National Institute of Health would be able to produce three million doses per month which would significantly reduce the country’s dependence on other countries.
The country has so far received doses of Covid-19 vaccines of Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino procured from China and others through the COVAX programme. Pakistan is already vaccinating its population of over 30-years and older citizens and announced opening registration for vaccination for the 19-years and above citizens.
The government had planned to vaccinate 70 million population by the end of the year 2021.