Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar on Saturday introduced that Pakistan shall be receiving doses of the British-manufactured AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine this yr.
He mentioned he has acquired a letter from COVAX on this regard, which has indicated that 17 million doses shall be given to Pakistan within the first half of 2021.
“Good news on COVID vaccine front. Received a letter from COVAX of [an] indicative supply of up to 17 million doses of AstraZeneca in 1st half 2021,” he mentioned.
Of the overall 17 million doses, it’s anticipated that six million will arrive by March. The supply will start in February, the minister mentioned, with out specifying any dates.
“We signed with COVAX nearly eight months back to ensure availability,” he added.
Of the 190 taking part economies, Pakistan is among the many 92 that qualify for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX initiative that ensures “rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all countries, regardless of income level”.
The improvement comes as a particular aircraft is able to fetch the primary batch of the coronavirus vaccines that China has gifted to Pakistan. It is speculated that the vaccine to arrive tomorrow (Sunday) would be the one made by Sinopharm.
Earlier this month, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) gave authorisation for each — the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm, and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
How the AstraZeneca vaccine works
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is produced from a weakened model of a standard chilly virus, referred to as adenovirus, from chimpanzees, and has been modified to look extra just like the coronavirus — though it can not trigger the sickness.
When the vaccine is injected right into a human physique, it prompts the immune system to make antibodies and trains it to assault any coronavirus an infection. Interim information confirmed that the vaccine’s efficacy in stopping symptomatic infections was 70.4%.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is extra appropriate for creating nations as it may be saved in a traditional fridge for six months, making it a lot simpler to distribute. It can also be cheaper to make.
The vaccine was first authorised for emergency use by the United Kingdom authorities.
Pakistan’s coronavirus scenario
During the final 24 hours, 2,179 COVID-19 instances have been reported throughout Pakistan, in response to information issued by NCOC.
In this era, 65 folks died from the illness, with most deaths occurring in Punjab (35) adopted by Sindh (17).
Out of the 65 deaths, 36 died on ventilators.
The nation has to date reported 543,214 instances and 11,623 deaths.