Covid-19: Pakistan approves AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use

Covid-19: Pakistan approves AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use

The federal government on Saturday approved AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine for the emergency use in the country.

Health Minister Dr Faisal Sultan said that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted the authorisation to use AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine in emergency.

Pakistan, which is in the midst of a second wave of coronavirus infections, has said it would procure more than a million doses of Sinopharm's vaccine, but the Chinese vaccine has not yet been approved by the DRAP.

“Pakistan is in the process of speaking to a number of vaccine makers and the country could get "in the range of tens of millions" of vaccine doses under an agreement with China's CanSinoBio,” he added.

The vaccine company's Ad5-nCoV COVID-19 candidate is currently nearing completion of phase III clinical trials in Pakistan.

Pakistan reported 2,432 new coronavirus infections and 45 deaths on Friday, taking the total number of cases to more than 516,000 and deaths close to 11,000.