The National Institute of Health (NIH), Pakistan, has announced that they have developed a locally produced Vaccine, ‘PakVac’. The homemade vaccine is developed based on China’s single-dose vaccine, ‘CanSino’, produced by CanSino Biologics, a Chinese vaccine company.
The country began its vaccination drive in February, with all vaccines imported from China’s Sinopharm, CanSinoBio, and Sinovac. Under the COVAX programme, the country is to get 45 million doses by 2021’s end. With its first local vaccine production, the government aims to reduce Pakistan’s dependence on other countries for the COVID-19 vaccines.
The NIH aims to produce three million doses per month once it passes through Pakistan’s Regularity and Health Authority examination. The first batch of the homemade vaccine, as many as 124,000 doses, will be available for inoculation by the end of this month.
Dr Faisal Sultan, a senior health official, stated that it is a crucial step in boosting up Pakistan’s vaccine supply and claimed that PakVac had passed rigorous ‘internal’ testing. Dr Sultan also congratulated the National Institute of Health (NIH) team and its efforts on his official Twitter handle.
There is unavailability of COVID-19 vaccine for a significant part of the population due to various reasons like high prices, private sales, and tight supplies. Two doses of Sputnik V in Pakistan cost as high as USD 80. The monthly income of an average worker sums up to USD 110.
Pakistan recently started its vaccination drive for people aged 30 and above. As of now, over five million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in the country. The country has so far reported 908,576 cases and 20,465 deaths.