Pakistan-China co-produced Covid vaccine gets a great response

By Shafqat Ali | Gwadar Pro Dec 26, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Dec.26(Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan-manufactured Covid vaccines, produced with China's help, are getting a great response at the vaccination centers, officials said on Saturday evening.

Pakistan had signed a deal with Chinese company CansinoBio in late March to import a concentrate of the vaccine in bulk to process and package the vaccine locally.

Later, Pakistan started producing the single-dose Chinese CanSinoBio, COVID-19 vaccine to be able to deliver 3 million doses a month with the new name PakVac.

A National Institute of Health (NIH) spokesperson informed that millions of doses had been sent to the vaccination centers since the inauguration of the production plant in Islamabad.

Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) Imran Khan on Health, told Gwadar Pro that the Chinese vaccines were highly effective and appreciated in Pakistan.

"The locally produced vaccines with the help of China got a great response. China has stood by us in this hour of need," he maintained, citing the Covid pandemic.

Sultan mentioned that China had supported Pakistan more than any other countries to control the Covid pandemic.

The SAPM informed that the local manufacturing of the China-based vaccine will continue to meet the demand of the country.

NIH Executive Director Professor Aamer Ikram said the co-production along with CanSino in Pakistan was a great effort by both sides.

Ikram elaborated that the Chinese firm was supplying a vaccine concentrate which the “plant then formulates, processes and packages.”

CanSinBio had transferred some of its production technology to Pakistan and was supervising operations, he remarked.

Quality control, he added, was being carried out by Pakistan. “We have acquired technology and expertise to ensure quality control,” he underscored.

According to NIH, PakVac is saving around 25% on vaccine costs. Pakistan, which has a population of 220 million people, faced initial vaccination hesitancy and a shortage of vaccine supplies but later started mass vaccination for all adults.

Pakistan heavily relied on All-Weather-Friend China in vaccine procurement and of the six vaccines approved for use in Pakistan, three - Sinopharm, SinoVac and CanSinoBio - are from China.

In an earlier statement, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said: "Our cooperation (co-production of vaccines) not only effectively contributes to Pakistan's efforts in fighting the Covid-19 but reduces its (Pakistan's) dependence on vaccine import."

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