Comprehensive strategy in place on COVID-19 vaccine

ISLAMABAD, Nov 12 (APP): The Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination on Thursday said that the government has a COVID-19 vaccine strategy in place which was developed in response to data and global best practices.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of National Health Services, under this strategy the government has prioritized the groups most likely to be the initial recipients of a potential vaccine.

It said that COVID-19 has devastated health systems and economy at global level. An effective COVID-19 vaccine is a possible long term strategy against coronavirus.

The ministry said that since January 2020, there has been intense global efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in shortest time possible. In this scenario, the initial news of a potential effective vaccine is good news.

It added an expert committee on COVID-19 vaccine, which comprises of public health and infectious diseases experts from public and private sector has been the source of technical oversight and review of safety and efficacy data coming in from trials.

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The efficacy of preliminary results of experimental COVID-19 vaccine is reported to be 90% of participants.

While these results look encouraging but full trial data is awaited and only after the availability and review of this data the situation will be clear.

In the meantime, other vaccine manufacturers are also expected to publish preliminary results of their human trial in coming weeks, which are been keenly observed in the global community and experts in Pakistan.

This pace of discovery is unprecedented and reflects the collective global effort in making it happen, it added.

The ministry said that another committee has been negotiating with leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers and has identified leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates for introduction in Pakistan which includes companies from across the globe.

The government is also in close contact with COVAX and GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccine Immunization) alliance through which it is expecting to negotiate a significant quantity of vaccine for Pakistani population as early as possible.

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Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine are also in progress in Pakistan which are progressing satisfactory, it added.

The Prime Minister has shown special interest in ensuring quality vaccine at the earliest for Pakistani population and the government has, in principle, approved specific funding to obtain an effective vaccine.

In addition, the government is making efficient arrangements for effective supply chain management of vaccine and required manpower needs where required.

Furthermore, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) is also working to streamline the regulatory process for its expeditiously registration without compromising the vaccine safety and efficacy.

The ministry said that it is expected that all the integrated efforts will ensure availability of an effective and safe vaccine as and when it becomes available globally.