- The Government of Pakistan has allocated initial funds of $150 million to buy a COVID-19 vaccine directly from international manufacturers by the second quarter of 2021 to start immunizing its 220 million population soon.
The Government of Pakistan has allocated an initial funds of $150 million to buy a COVID-19 vaccine directly from international manufacturers by the second quarter of 2021. It hopes to start immunizing its 220 million population soon.
Pfizer has claimed that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 90% effective based on initial trial results. Similarly, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund also explains that its Sputnik V vaccine is 92% effective according to interim trial results.
In addition to this, Sinovac Biotech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine is also offered in a Chinese city to essential workers and other high-risk groups as part of a national programme. This vaccine costs around $60.
Malik Mohammad Safi, the Director General for Health at the Ministry of National Health Services, also explains that the government is negotiating with different companies to ensure the vaccine rollout by March 2021. “We have signed an agreement with the Gavi [alliance] to get 90 million doses for 45 million people," he adds.
Being a public-private partnership, the Gavi alliance aids developing countries in accesssing the vaccine. Pakistan is part of the 92 low-and-middle-income countries which will get access to free COVID-19 vaccine through Gavi’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment.
Although Pakistan will get the vaccine for free from Gavi, two doses are required to inoculate one person, and each dose was estimated to cost about $10. As, the delivery of free vaccine from Gavi is delayed, Pakistan's governments is making early arrangements to buy the vaccine directly from companies.
While the country suffers from a second wave of coronavirus, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan is also working to streamline the regulatory process for ‘expeditious registration’ without compromising vaccine safety and efficacy.