The government has approved China’s CanSinoBio Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Faisal Sultan said on Friday.
Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has already approved three other vaccines for use in Pakistan - China's Sinopharm, Russia's Sputnik-V and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine. Drap officials said that after its approval for emergency use, the supply of the doses will start in a few weeks.
Cansino Bio is the only vaccine for which Pakistan conducted a clinical trial, with around 18,000 volunteers participating from across the country.
The analysis, which was released by the Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC), showed that it had 74.48 per cent efficacy rate in preventing symptomatic cases and 100 per cent in preventing severe disease.
CanSinoBIO last week released interim efficacy results of a multi-country trial, which included Pakistan, showing 65.7 percent efficacy in preventing symptomatic coronavirus cases and a 90.98pc success rate in stopping severe infections.
Although Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese developers have shown lower protection rates than some Western ones, and no detailed study results are publicly available yet, they have already been approved in several developing countries battling a surge in coronavirus infections.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan reached 561,625 after 1,262 new cases were detected in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of National Health Services. The country reported 58 deaths in this period, taking the total number of fatalities to 12,276. A total of 523,700 coronavirus patients have recovered, while 1,692 people are in critical condition.