Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who is also the chief of the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), on Friday said that the first batch of homemade Covid-19 vaccine will be available by the end of May.
Pakistan started the vaccination campaign in February with doses donated by the government of China. The campaign started with frontline healthcare workers and then inoculation of the senior citizens in the second phase.
The government now plans to open registration for Covid-19 vaccination for all citizens after Eidul Fitr.
"The first batch of bulk CanSino vaccine being processed at the National Institute of Health [at a] plant set up for this purpose last month. Specially trained team [is] working on it," Umar wrote on his official Twitter handle.
He further said that the vaccine will be available for use by the end of May after going through rigorous quality control checks.
The first batch of bulk cansino vaccine being processed at the national Institute of health plant set up for this purpose last month. Specially trained team working on it. Will inshallah be available for use by end of May after going thru rigorous quality control checks pic.twitter.com/kSC7tQAdrz— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) May 7, 2021
Last month, an official told a National Assembly panel that the National Institute of Health (NIH) is going to make Pakistan’s own single-dose coronavirus vaccine soon.
“We are going to make a single-dose vaccine for Covid-19,” NIH Executive Director Major General Aamer Ikram told the NA Standing Committee on National Health Services.
“We conducted the clinical trial of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine CanSinoBio in Pakistan. The tests that were first conducted on 300 subjects are now administered in more than 150,000 laboratories,” he added.
Later talking to the media, Major General Ikram said Pakistan was among the first countries to take part in the clinical trial of CanSinoBio vaccine. “Pakistan had requested China to transfer the technology for the vaccine. The raw material for the vaccine is going to arrive this month. “We hope that we will be able to take some measures for the preparation of the vaccine by the end of April. The NIH has procured all the equipment and chemicals needed in this regard.
“Our team is ready to undertake this task while a Chinese team has also arrived in Pakistan. The Chinese team will oversee our team at the NIH,” he said.
Earlier, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan had said that 70 per cent of the country's population will receive the vaccine by the current year's end.
The NCOC – the nerve centre of the government’s synchronised effort against the pandemic – said that Pakistan reported 4,298 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the country's Covid-19 tally to 850,131.
The country's death toll climbed to 18,677 after 140 more people succumbed to the deadly disease.
Meanwhile, 4,631 patients recovered from the deadly disease in a day taking total recoveries to 747,755.
According to NCOC, the total active Covid-19 cases across the country were reported to be 83,699.