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PMA wants countries to accept all WHO-approved vaccines

Vaccine requirements are unreasonable, it says

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 12, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Photo: Online

Many Pakistanis wanting to travel abroad are facing difficulty because of the different vaccines made mandatory by different countries.

Pakistan has so far administered 19,883,900 jabs to its people, and most of these have been Chinese-made vaccines such as Sinopharm and Sinovac. This has, however, created trouble for those wanting to travel abroad. Most western countries are not accepting Chinese-made vaccines and have made the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine a travel requirement.

For instance, Canada has announced that it will only accept these vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. It said that it is not accepting Bharat Biotech, Cansino, Sputnik, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Vector Institute vaccines.

To solve the problems for travellers, the Pakistan Medical Association wrote a letter to the World Health Organization and requested it to look into the matter.

“I penned down a letter to WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on the matter,” Dr Qaiser Sajjad, the secretary-general of Pakistan Medical Association, told SAMAA Digital. It’s not the fault of the people that they didn’t get a particular brand of Covid-19 vaccine.

He remarked that WHO has approved Sinovac, Sinopharm, Moderna, Sputnik vaccines among others, adding that countries across the globe should not have a problem with them.

Countries creating hurdles for those inoculated with different vaccine brands that have not been approved by their governments is unreasonable, he added.

The WHO had issued a letter in the first week of July in which it asked the countries to accept vaccines approved by it.

On June 24, NCOC chief Asad Umar remarked that “vaccine acceptability decisions” must be taken by a global institution such as the WHO. “Each country deciding which vaccine is acceptable for travel to that country is creating chaos,” he added.

WHO’s recommendations

In its letter, WHO recommended that member states should not require proof of Covid-19 vaccination as a mandatory condition for entering or exiting the country.

They should also “consider a risk-based approach” to facilitate international travel by lifting measures such as testing, and quarantine requirements for travellers who received any WHO-approved vaccine or were diagnosed with Covid-19 previously and are no longer infectious.

Vaccine brands and dose timelines

Pfizer-BioNTech
Type: mRNA
Doses: 2, 21 days apart

Moderna
Type: mRNA
Doses: 2, 28 days apart

AstraZeneca-University of Oxford
Type: Adenovirus-based
Doses: 2, 4 to 12 weeks apart

Johnson & Johnson
Type: Adenovirus-based
Doses: 1

Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine
Type: Adenovirus-based
Doses: 2 , 21 days apart

Sinovac Biotech
Type: Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus
Doses: 2, 28 days apart

Novavax
Type: Protein-based vaccine
Doses: 2, 21 days apart

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