COVID-19: Pakistan greenlights AstraZeneca vaccine for ‘emergency use’

Pakistan on Saturday (today) approved the ‘emergency use’ AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to tackle COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

According to Dr Faisal Sultan – SAPM on Health, Drug Regulatory Authority Pakistan (DRAP) has approved the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine being produced by AstraZeneca – a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company.

The vaccine is comparatively easy to use and a low cost solution to various other vaccine alternates being produced by pharmaceutical companies across the globe.

A local company has submitted relevant data to DRAP regarding AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca/Oxford was approved by British government in December 2020 last year.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine’s half-dose followed by a full-dose have proved to be 90% effective, as compared to two full-doses which have reported a 62% success rate.

Pakistan is experiencing a severe second COVID-19 wave with country’s total tally standing at 516,770 cases and 10,908 deaths so far.

A total of 472,099 people have successfully recovered from the virus so far and 2,334 are still in critical condition.

According to NCOC statistics, 2,432 COVID-19 cases and 45 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.