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Pakistan

Govt permits private sector to import COVID-19 vaccine

  • The purchase of coronavirus vaccine will open possibility for people who could afford and buy it
  • Govt has also increased the budget for vaccine purchase from $150 million to $250 million
Published December 14, 2020 Updated December 15, 2020

(Karachi) Government has allowed the private sector to purchase COVID-19 vaccine for people who could afford it before a government rollout, Arab News reported on Monday.

As per details, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination confirmed government's initiative of permitting the private sector to purchase the vaccine

“Private sector has also been given permission by government to cater for that segment of society which can afford it,” Arab News stated quoting the official statement of the health ministry.

“Negotiations under a confidential declaration agreement, with vaccine manufacturers are in final stages, who are undergoing phase III trials, are publishing their efficacy data and are in process of getting emergency authorisation approvals from respective regulators,” it mentioned.

Vaccine budget increased

Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr. Nausheen Hamid said the budget for the vaccines had been enhanced to 250 million dollar. Earlier, the government had set aside $150 million.

Dr Nausheen rejected claim that the government had allocated additional $100 million for vaccine purchase, saying the government was trying to generate the additional amount and was also in touch with international organisations.

“Additional funds will also be arranged by government as per requirements,” she said. The vaccines are expected to arrive by the end of the first and beginning of second quarter of 202, Health Ministry stated.

Earlier, Russia offered to supply its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan. Although, Sputnik V has not finished its final trials, the country started distributing vaccines last week.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received a letter to this effect along with data on the vaccine’s clinical research and trials from the Russian Embassy in Islamabad.

Vaccine developed by Russia proved to be 92 percent effective in preventing coronavirus, the interim results showed. Russia registered Sputnik V for public use in August, the first country to do so, though the approval came before the start of the large-scale trial in September.

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