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COVID-19: Pakistan to begin administration of CanSino vaccine from Monday

A vial of Convidecia vaccine.
  • Administration of the single-dose CanSino vaccine will commence in all provinces from Monday (Apr 5, 2021).
  • The Convidecia vaccine will be given only to those over 80 to help them avoid visiting vaccination centres for a second time.
  • The NCOC has also decided to enhance the monitoring mechanism to check the violation of preventive COVID SOPs.

ISLAMABAD: After receiving 60,000 doses of single-dose Chinese vaccine Convidecia, Pakistan will start its administration from Monday, according to a statement from the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The country had received the first shipment of the CanSino vaccine on Tuesday, which will be given to people over 80 years of age as per instructions from the apex anti-coronavirus body.

The NCOC met earlier today with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair through video link. The meeting was co-chaired by National Coordinator NCOC Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan.

“The forum was briefed that the single-dose CanSino Covid vaccine administration will commence in all provinces from Monday (5 Apr 21) onwards,” read the statement.

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It emphasised that all vaccination centers must ensure that they continue to facilitate citizens above 65 years age who already have been allowed a walk-in vaccination facility.

The establishment of call centres at the district level to pursue registered senior citizen for vaccination was also discussed during the meeting to further enhance the efficacy of this outreach drive.

All registered citizens were encouraged to get themselves vaccinated.

The forum was informed that keeping in view the increasing COVID-19 disease spread, 594 more oxygen beds have been added to dedicated Covid health facilities, with a special focus on Swat and Peshwar.

Read more: DRAP issues guidelines for pvt healthcare facilities to procure coronavirus vaccines

The NCOC also decided to enhance the monitoring mechanism to check the violation of preventive COVID SOPs.

Vaccine only for people above 80

According to an NCOC communique to all the federating units, this single-dose Chinese vaccine is being given only to those over 80 to prevent them from visiting vaccination centres for a second time.

“Owing to its availability in small quantity, it is recommended that it should only be administered in large cities with a high number of COVID-19 cases,” the NCOC directives say, adding that the vaccination record of Convidecia should also be maintained separately.

The 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 the shot. Although the vaccine will be available at all walk-in facilities, registration will be mandatory at the newly established AVCs.

Private firm AJM Pharmaceutical Limited is also importing 10,000 doses of the CanSino coronavirus vaccine. It will be sold initially to the three private hospitals in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi where its trials were held.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has recommended a maximum retail price (MRP) of Rs4,225 for the Convidecia vaccine in Pakistan, although the federal cabinet has to approve and notify the price, an AJM official said.

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, showing 65.7% efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases and a 90.98% success rate in stopping severe infections.

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