Govt okays Russian vaccine for ‘emergency use’

Published January 24, 2021
Bottles with Russia's "Sputnik-V" vaccine against the coronavirus are seen before inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia in this file photo. — Reuters
Bottles with Russia's "Sputnik-V" vaccine against the coronavirus are seen before inoculation at a clinic in Tver, Russia in this file photo. — Reuters

KARACHI: The government has allowed another vaccine against Covid-19 under “emergency use authorisation” and given a go-ahead to a local pharmaceutical company for the import and distribution of the Russian-developed Sputnik V, an official confirmed on Saturday.

With the fresh decision, the official said, Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine became the third to be approved for emergency use in the country.

“In a meeting conducted by the registration board of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), another vaccine has also been given EUA (emergency use authorisation) which was developed with the backing of Russian Develop­ment Investment Fund,” the official privy to the development said.

Last week, Drap authorised the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan. A couple of days later, the regulatory body approved Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, the second shot to be given approval for use in the country.

Read | China to 'gift' 0.5m doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan by Jan 31: Qureshi

“Sputnik V is the world’s first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector-based platform,” said the information available on the Sputnik V website. “It currently ranks among top-10 candidate vaccines approaching the end of clinical trials and the start of mass production on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list.”

The ongoing Sputnik V post-registration clinical trial in Russia involved 40,000 volunteers, it said and added that clinical trials of Sputnik V had been announced in the UAE, India, Venezuela and Belarus.

Last week, Hungary became the first European Union country to approve the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for public distribution. A short time later the UAE also announced the same decision making it 12th country outside of Russia which have authorised its use.

“Russia’s state-owned Sputnik-V has developed a double-dose vaccine, which is administered by syringes,” said the official.

A local pharmaceutical AGP, he said, had been authorised as the sole importer and distributor of the Russian vaccine.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2021

Opinion

Civil liberties
23 Oct 2021

Civil liberties

The late I.A. Rehman is esteemed on both sides of the border.
The Hamza factor
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The Hamza factor

A new story is quietly unfolding inside the PML-N and there may yet be a surprise twist.
What should Imran Khan do?
Updated 23 Oct 2021

What should Imran Khan do?

Making a mishmash of religion and politics won’t turn Pakistan into a welfare state. Here’s what can.
Afghan health crises
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Afghan health crises

The condition and prospects of Afghanistan’s health sector are complex and grave.

Editorial

A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...
Spate of attacks
Updated 22 Oct 2021

Spate of attacks

Following a near-constant decline since 2016, the year 2021 has witnessed a precipitous rise in violence-related fatalities in KP.
22 Oct 2021

Libel suits

THE outcome of two libel cases recently decided by courts in England should be edifying for the government — if it...
22 Oct 2021

Education losses

A NEW report on the education losses suffered by Pakistani children due to pandemic-induced school closures sheds...