Adds that there is urgent need for caution
The first batch of locally formulated Chinese-made Cansino vaccine will be available by the end of May, said Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar Friday night.
The Cansino COVID-19 vaccine Convidecia is being processed at the National Institute of Health plant.
The single-dose shot is the first coronavirus vaccine being prepared in Pakistan. Experts from China are helping with the process.
It be available for use by end of May after going through rigorous quality control checks, Umar said on Twitter.
The first batch of bulk cansino vaccine being processed at the national Institute of health plant set up for this purpose last month. Specially trained team working on it. Will inshallah be available for use by end of May after going thru rigorous quality control checks pic.twitter.com/kSC7tQAdrz— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 7, 2021
A total of 160,000 Cansino vaccine dose concentrates are available in the country, said Federal Parliamentary Health Secretary Dr Nausheen Hamid Friday.
The government had signed an agreement with China for a total of three million Cansino doses, she added.
In the Pakistan arm of the clinical trial, the Cansino shot had an efficacy of 74.8% at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases and 100% for preventing severe disease.
On March 21, the cabinet had approved the prices of Russian and Chinese vaccines. According to a circular, one injection of China’s Convidecia vaccine will cost Rs4,225.
Free vaccination through the government is open for people above 40 years. They are being given the Chinese-made Sinopharm, Cansino and Sinovac vaccines.
The vaccination drive for Pakistanis above 18 years will start after Eid if there are no problems with vaccine availability, NCOC head Asad Umar had said on May 4.
In a recent tweet, Umar stressed on the importance of strictly following COVID-19 SOPs.
The need for caution is clear. The danger is higher than ever and knocking at our doors. Need the country to unite in response and achieve once again what we achieved in the first wave, for which we received global praise. Inshallah we will do it again, together
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 8, 2021
“You can see the entire region is exploding with cases and deaths, in the latest covid wave,” Umar warned.
On Saturday, Pakistan reported 4,109 new COVID-19 cases and 120 deaths. The coronavirus tally is 854,240 and death toll is 18,797. A total of 752,712 people have recovered from the virus.