KARACHI – Pakistan received the first shipment of 60,000 doses of single-dose Chinese vaccine Convidecia, developed by the CanSino Biologics Inc, in Islamabad Tuesday night.
National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHSR&C) officials have confirmed the arrival of the vaccine. Furthermore, distribution to provinces will start today.
“A commercial flight carrying 60,000 doses of Chinese single-dose vaccine Convidecia has just landed at Islamabad International Airport and it is being shifted to the federal storage. Its distribution to provinces and other federating units would commence from Wednesday,” an official of the NHSR&C was quoted as saying on media.
Initially, this vaccine will only be available to citizens over 80 years of age and that the government will make separate Adult Vaccination Centers (AVCs) for it.
“Owing to its availability in small quantity, it is recommended that it should only be administered in large cities with high number of COVID-19 cases,” the NCOC officials said, adding that the vaccination record of Convidecia should also be maintained separately.
The vaccine will be made available at all walk-in facilities at the newly established AVCs, however, NCOC has instructed that no vaccination be done outside the National Immunization Management System (NIMS), which means that without registration, nobody should be vaccinated with a single-dose.
Meanwhile, a private firm AJM Pharmaceutical Limited will also be importing 10,000 doses of the CanSino coronavirus vaccine and it will be sold initially to three private hospitals in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi where its trials were held.
A debate was also held earlier in the National Assembly and the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has recommended a maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs4,225 for the single dose Chinese Convidecia vaccine in Pakistan.
“The maximum sale price of Sputnik V Russian vaccine has been fixed at Rs8,449 for two doses, while China’s Convidecia would be sold at no more than Rs4,225 per injection,” Deputy Speaker National Assembly, Qasim Khan Suri had tweeted.
The maximum sale price of Sputnik V Russian vaccine has been fixed at Rs8,449 for two doses, while China’s Convidecia would be sold at no more than Rs4,225 per injection.#CoronaVaccine #COVID19Vaccine #Pakistanhttps://t.co/OWCp5mghGV
— Qasim Khan Suri (@QasimKhanSuri) March 21, 2021
However, a formal announcement regarding the retail price is yet to be announced by the federal cabinet said AJM official.
DRAP’s registration board had given emergency use authorisation to CanSino Biologics’s single-dose vaccine in the second week of February 2021 after the Chinese manufacturer released interim efficacy results from a multi-country trial, which included Pakistan.
The results showed 65.7% efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases and a 90.98% success rate in stopping severe infections.