Pakistan okays Russian vaccine for ‘emergency use’

The Pakistani government has allowed another vaccine against COVID-19 under “emergency use authorisation” and given a go-ahead to a local pharmaceutical company for the import and distribution of the Russian-developed Sputnik V, an official confirmed on Saturday

Jan 24, 2021
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The Pakistani government has allowed another vaccine against COVID-19 under “emergency use authorisation” and given a go-ahead to a local pharmaceutical company for the import and distribution of the Russian-developed Sputnik V, an official confirmed on Saturday.

With the fresh decision, the official said, Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine became the third to be approved for emergency use in the country.

“In a meeting conducted by the registration board of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), another vaccine has also been given EUA (emergency use authorisation) which was developed with the backing of Russian Develop­ment Investment Fund,” the official privy to the development said.

Availability of free-of-cost COVID-19 vaccine seems to have been assured for Pakistan as Covax has announced that it will acquire 150 million doses in the first quarter and two billion doses by the end of the year.

It further said that, out of the two billion doses, 1.3bn will be provided to 92 lower-income economies. As a result of this agreement, chances of Pakistan getting the free doses in the first quarter of the current year seem to have brightened.

Talking to Dawn, Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) spokesperson Sajid Shah said it was a positive development and expressed the hope that Pakistan would get the vaccine in the current quarter.

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