120,000 doses ready for launch within a week

Published May 26, 2021
A woman receives a dose of the Covid-19 coronavirus Sinopharm vaccine at a vaccination camp in Karachi on May 25. — AFP
A woman receives a dose of the Covid-19 coronavirus Sinopharm vaccine at a vaccination camp in Karachi on May 25. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: With 120,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine having been packed at the National Institute of Health (NIH), the relevant authorities are considering reverting back to using the name CansinoBio after initially printing PakVac on the first batch of the vaccine.

While the country recorded 2,253 new cases and 92 deaths during the last 24 hours with a positivity ratio of 4.82 per cent, the number of active cases as of May 25 was 62,295.

An official of the NIH, requesting not to be named, said 120,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been packed and hopefully a launching ceremony would be held by the end of the current month.

“Though the name PakVac was used for the first batch, there has been a change of mind and the vaccine would be called CansinoBio as the Chinese are sensitive about the names of their products,” he said.

Cansino was the first Chinese vaccine to have undergone clinical trial in Pakistan and was administered to around 18,000 people. Initially, the vaccine was brought to the country, but later it was decided that concentrate of the vaccine would be shifted here and packed in the NIH.

The machinery was arranged, staff trained and finally the first batch was packed, which passed the stability test.

The official said PakVac was used on the initial batch of 500 doses but now it was being considered to use the name CansinoBio on the remaining vaccine batches.

“The test trial of the first batch has been completed, which included stability test, safety test, sterility test and spike protein test. Overall 120,000 doses have been prepared and a tentative date for the launching ceremony is May 30,” the NIH official said.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan also confirmed that the vaccine was ready for use.

“Congratulations to the NIH Pak team and its leadership for successful fill/finish (from concentrate) of the Cansino vaccine with the help of Cansino Bio Inc. China. The product has passed the rigorous internal QA testing. An important step to help in our vaccine supply line,” Dr Sultan tweeted.

According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data, 4,723 Covid patients are hospitalised and of them 522 are on ventilator. In a single day, 2,253 more cases and 92 deaths were reported from across the country.

While the situation is not as alarming as in some neighbouring countries, particularly India, health experts see black fungus an upcoming challenge for patients as well as medical professionals.

Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2021

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