Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, The Chairperson of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s National Task Force on Science and Technology, says that coronavirus vaccine will be available to administer to the public in the coming two months.
He said that developed and richer countries have already paid for the vaccine, so the supply will first be available to them and it will take time for smaller countries to procure the vaccine. He also said that Pakistan is trying hard to procure the vaccine for itself.
Dr. Rehman also explained that due to the country’s population, it will take quite sometime for dispensing the vaccine to the masses.
The Federal Cabinet has recently approved a grant of 150 million dollars earlier this month for this project.
The Chinese vaccines trials have started recently and large scores of volunteers flocked to research hospitals to join this final-stage clinical trials of the Chinese made coronavirus vaccine. This is the first time the country has participated in such trial.
Pfizer Asia Pacific’s spokesperson has told press that their company is in talks with the Health Ministry of Pakistan to procure Pfizer and BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. HE also told that due to heavy demand they would now do government-based contracts.
One of the biggest challenge to transport Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has been to maintain a temperature of minus 70 degrees temperature. to combat this challenge, Pfizer has come up with specially designed thermal shippers which can maintain temperature between -60 to -80 degrees Celsius temperatures and can be yes as temporary storage units for 10 days if unopened, thus enabling worldwide transport possible.
If opened and used for temporary storage it can be used for a total of 30 days but has to be re-iced every 5 days. Pfizer Pakistan and Chughtai Labs have signed an MoU to set up cold chains and vaccination centres in Pakistan.
Low temperatures are also required to store Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. In contrast with Pfizer’s vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Chinese vaccines need normal refrigeration to store their products.
Pakistan Health Ministry’s officials have been in talks with Oxford Astra Zeneca officials and it is expected that Pakistan will also receive a sizeable quantity of vaccine from global COVAX alliance in the upcoming year.