Pakistan has launched a one-shot Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s CanSino Biologics for use in adults aged over 18. Distributed under the label ‘PakVac’, the jab is to be produced domestically down the line, officials said.
In a nod to the vaccine’s developers, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Faisal Sultan praised China for its partnership in the creation of the vaccine.
“China was already a friend and came forward when Covid-19 [hit Pakistan],” he added.
Speaking at a special launch ceremony in Islamabad, Sultan said Pakistan would shortly be able to start producing PakVac itself, noting that manufacturing a vaccine from raw materials was no mean feat. The official also said the vaccine – which is administered as a single shot – has passed all the relevant tests and is safe and effective against Covid-19.
Last week, Sultan congratulated the country’s National Institute of Health for successfully carrying out ‘fill and finish’ operations – the final stage of production – for the vaccine.
The CanSino Biologics jab has so far been given approval for use in Chile, China, Hungary, Mexico, Moldova and Pakistan. According to officials in Pakistan, analysis of interim trial data suggested the vaccine was 65.7% effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19.
Stage three trials were carried out in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The data also suggest the shot is 90.98% in preventing severe Covid-19.
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