ISLAMABAD (Monitoring Desk) Pakistan has agreed to supply 13 million doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to Pfizer-BioNTech, according to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan. While a precise timeline is unknown, the first supply of the Pfizer vaccine in Pakistan is slated to reach in July, with the remainder arriving by the end of 2021.
Last month, Pakistan received 100,000 doses of the mRNA through the COVAX programme, which is used to treat people who are compromised and ineligible for other vaccines. According to the National Command Operation Center, about 13 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been distributed throughout the country so far, with about 3.5 million people fully vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine in Pakistan is avaible from the month of July 2021.
Pakistan has mostly employed Chinese vaccines in its inoculation campaign, including Sinopharm, CanSinoBio, and Sinovac, and just last month began permitting persons under the age of 40 to receive AstraZeneca, which it has a small quantity of for those travelling to nations that require it.
Pakistan is also nearing completion on acquiring 10 million doses of Russian Sputnik V. It is expected to arrive in Pakistan by the end of the month or the first week of July.
Changing in instrustions for the vaccine of China
The NCOC has altered the rules for the two-dose Chinese vaccines, allowing for a six-week delay between treatments. According to the details, the four-week gap between 2 dose SinoVac and Sinopharm vaccines was first raised to 6 weeks.
SAPM Sultan, reacting on the situation, informed The News that there were plenty of Sinovac doses available in the country, with more on the way. It would allow some temporal flexibility,” the SAPM replied when asked if the change is made to alleviate the shortfall. Will come in handy in various situations.
Meanwhile, a senior health ministry official told the publication that the main reason for increasing the gap between two doses was a shortage of vaccines, and that rather than diminishing efficacy, a postponed 2nd dosage could grant protection. In general, the postponed 2nd dose results in a greater immunological response. China has done so successfully, according to the official.
Advice of WHO on the double dose of Chinese vaccine
Two doses of Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccinations should be given three to four weeks apart, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). If the distribution of the 2nd dose is delayed over four weeks, it should be administered as soon as feasible.