Shah joins Punjab’s governor in taking experimental jab
Interior Minister Ijaz Shah and his entire staff have participated in a trial for a Chinese coronavirus vaccine. They received their shots in Clinical Phase 3 of the vaccine’s development according to Lahore’s University of Health Sciences Vice-Chancellor Professor Akram Javed.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and his wife Parveen Sarwar have already participated in the trial.
Thousands of volunteers joined final-stage clinical trials at Pakistani research hospitals for the Chinese-made vaccine against the coronavirus.
This is the first time Pakistan has participated in such a trial, which comes amid a series of positive vaccine announcements last month by Western pharmaceutical companies.
The Chinese vaccine is also undergoing phase 3 trials — or large-scale testing on humans — in several other nations including China, Russia, Chile, Argentina and Saudi Arabia.
The vaccine is being developed by CanSinoBio and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology China.
For years, China has focused much of its attention in Pakistan on mammoth development projects, bankrolling the construction of roads, power plants and a strategic port.
Beijing has now tapped one of its closest allies to participate in the vaccine trials, despite Pakistan’s chequered history with inoculation campaigns.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began 420,294 people in Paksitan have been infected by COVID-19 with 356,542 recovering and 8,398 dying from the disease.
With 3,795 new infections, Pakistan has recorded its highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases since July 2.
Pfizer in collaboration with Moderna, and Astra-Zeneca in its collaboration with the University of Oxford, have both developed vaccines that are in different stages of being manufactured for distribution.
Pakistan’s participation in the vaccination trials with China’s CanSinoBio commenced with the understanding that Pakistan would be provided 40% coverage by the Chinese vaccine if trials are successful.