The National Institute of Health (NIH) has been offered by a Chinese company to collaborate in conducting testing on a potential coronavirus vaccine in Pakistan.
Sinopharm, the Chinese company has given the proposal that the clinical trials of its ‘inactive COVID-19 vaccine’ will be conducted in Pakistan. This will mutually benefit both countries.
In the letter to NIH, the pharmaceutical company said that “a successful clinical trial in Pakistan will make it one of [the] first few countries for the launch of a COVID-19 vaccine”.
NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Dr. Aamer Ikram said that there has been no progress made till now. It would be a better thing for Pakistan if trials take place.
Dr. Ikram said that there are many issues before the trials will start in Pakistan. One of the issues is that there needs to be the approval of the board of ethics before the trials begin.
The letter said, “In the process, we developed a lot of practical insights that we would like to share with you.
Adding, “We will work in close collaboration with [the] NIH clinical trial team during the processing for the success of the clinical trial as this endeavour is of utmost importance for our countries in accordance with the current pandemic situation.”
It was confirmed by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Zafar Mirza that a Chinese firm has approached Pakistan for trials of COVID-19 vaccine
He tweeted, About vaccine for COVID-19: Pakistan is approached by Chinese company for possible trails. We have asked for more info which we will evaluate through relevant experts from safety, ethics, regulation & feasibility perspectives before deciding. Too early to say anything!”