Pakistan allocates $100m to purchase Covid-19 vaccine

Prime Minister Imran Khan has allocated $100 million for the Covid-19 vaccine. Also, he has allowed advance payment for the purchasing of the vaccine at the earliest.

Furthermore, it has been decided that different segments of society, such as senior citizens, health practitioners and people suffering from chronic diseases, will be prioritised for the vaccine that will be available in limited numbers during the ongoing winter season.

According to the report, Vice-Chancellor of the Health Services Academy (HSA) and Chairman of the National Vaccine Committee Dr. Asad Hafeez stated,

“As we speak no company has announced the cost of the vaccine. Moreover, not a single company has got the approval to sell the vaccine as the clinical trial data is limited. Although international firms — Pfizer and BioNTech — have announced that the phase-III clinical trials of their vaccines had shown 90 percent efficacy in preventing the disease among those who have not contracted the virus, they are in the process of compiling the data. Once data will be completed they will submit it to the United States Food and Drugs Authority and with a similar regulatory authority of the European Union. It may take another four weeks.”

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Adding, “Companies will get the emergency use or transit permission for use of vaccine and after one year they may get full approval to sell the vaccine. However, there will be no difference for the general public if the vaccine is sold under transit or full permission. The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has been interacting and negotiating with half a dozen multinational companies to get the vaccine at the earliest.”

Dr. Hafeez, in reply to a question, stated that the government was very close to finalize the process for the procurement of the vaccine. However, he said, it would take a few more months to get the vaccine.

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