Pakistan to approach China for COVID-19 vaccine: sources

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to contact China for availability of COVID-19 vaccine.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) will communicate with the Chinese government via the foreign ministry, sources in knowledge of the matter, said.

The health authorities in Islamabad will seek details of the expected vaccines being develop in China and also the details about the Chinese vaccine developing companies, CanSino Biologics and Sinopharm, the sources said.

Moreover, the price and the data of the clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccines would also be demanded from the pharmaceutical companies.

It is pertinent to mention here that both the Chinese companies conducting phase three of clinical trials of their vaccines.

According to sources, Pakistan will seek detailed data of clinical trials of Sinopharm vaccine from China. The company is conducting clinical trials of its vaccine in different countries.

“The complete results of the CanSino Biologics vaccine will require two months to come,” according to the sources.

Pakistan’s health authorities will decide the strategy of the vaccine procurement after the China’s response over the matter, sources further said.

Pakistani experts will look into the data of the clinical trials of the vaccine and after final approval will hold detailed talks with China for procurement of the vaccine, sources said.

The health officials hope a positive response from China over the matter, the sources added.

It is to be noted that Chinese company Sinopharm on Wednesday announced that it has sought formal approval from authorities to bring its COVID-19 vaccine to the market.

Earlier, the company said that it had submitted the vaccine’s phase-3 clinical data to China’s State Food and Drug Administration and was in the process of giving more detailed data.

The company said it is in the final stage before marketing and is now making approval of the vaccine its top priority.

The company is expected to release its vaccine’s phase-3 data after the government approval.