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Pakistan to purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from China’s Sinopharm


ISLAMABAD (#Reuters) – #Pakistan will purchase 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from #China’s #Sinopharm, a minister said on #Thursday, the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase by the #South #Asian country as it battles a second wave of infections.

FILE PHOTO: A #Sinopharm sign is seen at the 2020 #China #International #Fair for #Trade in #Services (CIFTIS) in #Beijing, #China, #September 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu #Wang/File #Photo

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#China approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by an affiliate of state-backed pharmaceutical giant #Sinopharm on #Thursday, its first approved shot for general public use.

“The #Cabinet #Committee has decided to initially purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine from the #Chinese company #Sinopharm, which will be provided free of cost to frontline workers in the first quarter of 2021,” #Pakistani #Minister for #Science and #Technology #Chaudhry #Fawad #Hussain said on #Twitter.

The minister told #Reuters the purchase would be of the vaccine candidate developed by #Sinopharm’s #Beijing #Institute of #Biological #Products.

#Sinopharm has another candidate, developed by the #Wuhan #Institute of #Biological #Products, which is also in phase III trials.

#Pakistan earlier this month approved $150 million to buy COVID-19 vaccines, initially to cover the most vulnerable 5% of the population, but did not announce which one it would procure, saying it could tap more than one source.

“If the private sector wants to import any other internationally-approved vaccine, it can,” #Hussain said on #Thursday.

The country of 220 million is in the midst of another spate of infections, with 58 deaths on #Wednesday taking its death toll past 10,000. #It also reported 2,475 new infections, taking the total to 479,715.

#Pakistan is currently running phase III clinical trials for #CanSino #Biologics’ vaccine candidate, #Ad5-nCoV, led by the government-run #National #Institute of #Health.

#Hassan #Abbas of AJ #Pharma, #CanSino’s local representative, told #Reuters on #Wednesday that recruitment for the trial will be completed in 10 days.

“Preliminary results will be shared 4 or 5 days after recruitment is completed, and these will include the efficacy of the vaccine,” #Abbas said, adding that thus far there have been no serious side effects.

AJ #Pharma is one of five companies that have applied for a license to distribute the vaccine in #Pakistan once approved, he added.

#Reporting by #Gibran #Peshimam in #Islamabad; #Additional reporting by #Umar #Farooq in #Islamabad, #Syed #Raza #Hassan in #Karachi and #Roxanne #Liu in #Beijing; #Editing by #Kim #Coghill and #Michael #Perry



[ source link ]
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-pakistan-vaccine/pakistan-to-purchase-12-million-covid-19-vaccine-doses-from-chinas-sinopharm-idUSKBN2950DU

##Pakistan #purchase #million #COVID19 #vaccine #doses ##Chinas ##Sinopharm

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