Timeline of all major vaccine authorisations, research and fact-checks
This story was last updated at 3:00pm Wednesday, January 20, 2021.
Infographic: Obair Khan/ SAMAA Digital
|Vaccine name||Manufacturer||Efficacy||Status||Authorised in||Vaccinations start|
|EpiVacCorona||Vector Institute||Not known||Trial phase 3||Russia||N/A|
|Covaxin||Bharat Biotech||Not known||Trial phase 3||India||India: Jan 16, 2021 (emergency use)|
|N/A||Sinopharm- Wuhan||Not known||Trial phase 3||China, UAE||N/A|
The coronavirus pandemic continues to grow with second and third waves reported in many countries. Vaccines are, however, also being rolled out in many places. Rich countries have already secured supplies while poorer countries await their turn.
Authorities in Pakistan say we will begin vaccinations in the second quarter of 2021. It is not yet known which vaccine out of the eight approved for emergency or full use will be administered in Pakistan.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan says the government is in talks with six leading vaccine makers and the vaccinations will begin for high-risk groups in February or March.
On December 31, Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry announced that the cabinet committee had decided to buy China’s Sinopharm vaccine for COVID-19.
Initially, 1.2 million doses will be purchased from Sinopharm, the federal science minister said on Twitter. The vaccine will be given free of charge to frontline workers in the first quarter of 2021.
Earlier, the Sindh government had announced that the COVID-19 vaccine would arrive in Pakistan mid-January. On Tuesday, however, the provincial government said that the federal government had hinted at a delay. The same day, the Cabinet relaxed procurement rules for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Provincial Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has directed the vaccine coordination cell and officials to ensure smooth supply once inoculation starts at the Karachi Expo Centre.
On Thursday, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Nausheen Hamid announced that the government is expecting the first shipment of the vaccine to arrive by the end of January.
Pakistan has yet to finalise an order for the COVID-19 vaccine. The government has been in talks with six leading manufacturers.
On Saturday (Dec 16), Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan told Reuters that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan had granted emergency use authorisation to the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho has emphasised the need for vaccination and said the vaccines cannot be imported until the federal government approves.
“Unfortunately, Pakistan is the last country that has yet to order vaccines,” she said. “Procuring vaccines is the federal government’s responsibility. If they can’t do it, they should allow the provincial government to procure vaccines and start administering them.”
She added that 70% to 80% of Pakistan’s population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
SAMAA Health has compiled all the major updates here: