- Decision comes after announcement that Pakistan is set to receive 2.5 million doses of the vaccine through the UN-backed Covax global vaccine sharing programme
- Vaccine can be administered to people suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases
(Karachi) The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has approved emergency use of the Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 years and older, local media reported on Thursday.
The decision has been taken after it was announced that Pakistan is set to receive 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine from the United States through the UN-backed Covax global vaccine sharing programme.
All requirements for emergency use of the vaccine by the government have been fulfilled and guidelines issued for the staff and the people.
Under the guidelines, the Moderna vaccine needs special handling and cold chain maintenance to preserve the vaccine’s effectiveness. The vaccine jabs need to be transported safely while storage, administration, and disposal of the vaccine waste must be ensured at all vaccination facilities.
The frozen vials should be stored at temperatures of -25 Celsius to -15 Celsius and protected from light, in the original packaging. It should not be stored on dry ice or below -40 Celsius.
The vaccine should be given to people aged 18 years and older and can be given to pregnant and lactating women, those with comorbid conditions e.g. diabetes, hypertension, congestive cardiac failure, renal failure, chronic liver disease, etc.
Similarly, those who have experienced a mild episode of Covid-19 in the recent past can receive the vaccine once the isolation period is completed. Those with severe Covid-19 can receive the vaccine once they become clinically stable, the guideline stated.
However, people having severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction should not be vaccinated. The vaccine is not recommended for persons younger than 18 years of age pending the results of further studies.
Last week, the US president announced his plans to allocate 75 percent unused Covid-19 vaccines through the UN-backed Covax global vaccine sharing programme. The White House unveiled the allocation for sharing the first 25 million doses with the world.
Of the first tranche of 25 million doses, the White House says about 19 million will go to Covax, with approximately 6 million for South and Central America, 7 million for Asia, and 5 million for Africa. The doses mark a substantial - and immediate - boost to the lagging Covax effort, which to date has shared just 76 million doses with needy countries.