AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in Pakistan. Health Minister Faisal Sultan confirmed it on Saturday. It is the first coronavirus vaccine to get the green light for use in the South Asian country.
Pakistan is in the midst of the second wave of coronavirus infections. It has said it would procure more than a million doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine. However, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has not approved the Chinese vaccine yet.
“DRAP granted emergency use authorization to AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine,” the country’s health minister, Faisal Sultan, told Reuters.
Pakistan is in the process of speaking to a number of vaccine makers and Sultan said the country could get “in the range of tens of millions” of vaccine doses under an agreement with China’s CanSinoBio.
The vaccine company’s Ad5-nCoV COVID-19 candidate is currently nearing completion of phase III clinical trials in Pakistan.
COVID-19 cases 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. Some 42,422 tests were carried out during this period.
According to the latest statistics, there are now 33763 active cases of the virus in the country. Moreover, 472,099 people have so far recovered from the disease.
The second wave of COVID-19 is becoming dangerous. PM Imran Khan has also urged the nation to strictly observe SOPs against COVID-19 to contain the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in Pakistan.
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