ISLAMABAD: The government has started negotiating with manufacturers across the globe to procure Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it reaches the stage of use on humans.
The government is in close contact with COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator, a global mechanism for pooled procurement of eventual Covid-19 vaccines, and the Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunisation, through which it is expecting to negotiate for a significant quantity of vaccine for Pakistani people as early as possible.
“Though we have been conducting Phase III trial of the vaccine in collaboration with China, at the same time we have taken all the front line runners who have been working on the vaccine into the loop so that Pakistan would get the vaccine at the earliest,” Ministry of National Health Services spokesperson Sajid Shah said while talking to Dawn.
He said the government was making efficient arrangements for effective supply chain management of the vaccine and required manpower needs.
“Since January 2020, there have been intense global efforts to develop a vaccine in shortest time possible. In this scenario, the initial news of a potential effective vaccine is good news. The efficacy of preliminary results of experimental Covid-19 vaccine is reported to be 90 per cent of participants.
“While these results look encouraging, full trial data is awaited and only the availability and review of this data will clear the situation,” the statement says. “In the meantime, other vaccine manufacturers are also expected to publish preliminary results of their human trial in coming weeks, which will be keenly observed in the global community and experts in Pakistan. This pace of discovery is unprecedented and reflects the collective global effort in making it happen.”
The statement says: “The government of Pakistan has a Covid-19 vaccine strategy in place which was developed in response to data and global best practices. Under this strategy the government has prioritized the groups most likely to be the initial recipients of a potential vaccine.”
An expert committee on Covid-19 vaccine, which comprises of public health and infectious diseases experts from public and private sectors, has been the source of technical oversight and review of safety and efficacy data coming in from trials. Another committee has been negotiating with leading Covid-19 Vaccine manufacturers and has identified leading Covid-19 vaccine candidates for introduction in Pakistan.