Pakistan on Tuesday launched the coronavirus vaccine developed in the country with Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, saying the country will soon be able to start the production of the important drug.
Faisal, while speaking at the launch ceremony, said that the is an opportunity in every difficulty. He also added that during the pandemic, China stood out as a friend of Pakistan.
“China was already a friend and came forward when coronavirus [hit Pakistan],” said Dr Sultan. He also lauded the National Institute of Health (NIH) for developing the vaccine.
Developing the vaccine from raw materials is not an easy task. [We are] proud of the people that developed the vaccine at the NIH,” said Dr Sultan.
Meanwhile, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar remarked that today was an “important day”.
Umar also spoke about the coronavirus situation of the country and said that the number of patients in hospitals was higher in the third wave compared to the first wave. He added that the number of patients on oxygen support was 60% more than it was during the first wave.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong, in his address, said that the vaccine’s production is an example of the friendship between the two countries. He added that Pakistan is the first country that accepted the Chinese vaccine as a gift.
Last month, Pakistan locally finished a coronavirus vaccine with the help of Chinese experts after raw materials for the vaccine were transported to Islamabad in April.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan took to Twitter and make the announcement.
Dr Sultan congratulated the National Institute of Health for the achievement, adding that the move will step up the country’s vaccine supply. He added that the finished vaccine — named PakVac — has passed rigorous internal quality control checks and testing.
“Congratulations to the NIH Pak team and its leadership for successful fill/finish (from concentrate) of the Cansino vaccine with the help of Cansino Bio Inc. China. The product has passed rigorous internal QA testing. An imp step to help in our vaccine supply line,” wrote Dr Sultan.
Back in April, NIH officials had said they would start the local production of CanSinoBio’s coronavirus vaccine in May.
According to the NIH official, the raw material for the vaccine reached Pakistan in early May after which the production of the vaccine was started immediately.