In a breakthrough deal with a Chinese pharmaceutical company, the production of Covid-19 vaccines in Pakistan has officially been given the green light. Accordingly, the potential of expanding the vaccination drive has increased substantially. The only matter of concern right now is to determine the timeline since large doses of Sputnik V and Cansino are also expected to arrive shortly. Cooperation between all relevant stakeholders is necessary to make the vaccination process as smooth as possible.
According to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan, four vaccines have been approved for use and sale in Pakistan—Sinopharm, Cansino, Sputnik V and AstraZeneca. Now, Recombinant Novel Coronavirus Vaccine (V-01) has also been approved for domestic production and redistribution within the country for the first time ever.
In the midst of a pandemic that is spiralling out of control, this is the right direction to be moving towards. However, private firms must be kept in the loop so that a comprehensive strategy can be created to tackle any issues that might arise either in production or rallying the public behind the utility of getting vaccinated. The inflow of vaccines from China and Russia for private sale must be dispensed keeping in mind the duration of the process for V-01.
Regardless, the reality is that we are finally in a position where we can cater to a larger number of people and build immunity to combat the virus. Thus, efforts must be pooled together to not only assure the public of the necessity of getting the vaccine, no matter what route they choose to take—public or private. With transmission rate showing no signs of stagnation, the only way out of the pandemic are the vaccines. So, the government must do everything in its power to endorse, promote and facilitate the general public to get innoculated.