It is not recommended for the elderly and pregnant women
The National Ministry of Health Services and Regulations has released guidelines for the administration of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine being used in Pakistan.
The guidelines are based on the current results from clinical trials and might change as new information becomes available.
Pakistan formally launched the coronavirus vaccination drive on February 3. The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines from China arrived in Pakistan via a PAF plane on February 1.
Currently, the vaccine is only being given to frontline health workers.
Healthy people between 18 to 60 years can get the Sinopharm vaccine, according to the guidelines.
The COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women because clinical trials worldwide did not involve this group and therefore it is difficult to predict safety.
The government says enough people over 60 years weren’t recruited for the trials and there is insufficient data to support its use for the elderly.
China has donated 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, which has an efficacy of 79.3%.
The vaccine, BBIBP-CorV, was developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (Sinopharm). It uses an inactivated virus to mimic the effect of the coronavirus and build immunity.
It is a two-dose vaccine which is administered in the upper arm. Reported side effects include injection site pain and/or swelling, fever and tiredness. So far, no serious adverse events have been recorded.