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Pakistan but to position orders for Oxford-Astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine

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A Reuters representational picture.
  • Pakistan’s procurement of Astrazeneca-Oxford vaccine timeline unclear
  • In the intervening time, vaccine being offered to nation that pre-booked doses
  • Authorised agent provides vaccine at Rs1,000-Rs1,200 per dose to federal and provincial govts

KARACHI: Though the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted approval for the emergency use of Oxford-Astrazeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, it’s unclear when the inoculations might be obtainable in Pakistan because the pharmaceutical firm’s authorised brokers are but to position orders.

Final week, the Sindh Medical Shops (SMS) was allowed to import the vaccine. Speaking to The Information, SMS official Usman Ghani stated in the mean time the British-Swedish firm was provide the vaccine to nations that had already booked vaccine doses and paid prematurely.

“We don’t know when we would be able to get hold of the first consignment of the vaccine as it has been already purchased by the several countries of the world.”

Ghani stated AstraZeneca has authorised the manufacture of the vaccine in Serum Institute of India in Pune for bulk manufacturing however most of that may be used for vaccinating a sizeable inhabitants of India earlier than it’s allowed to Pakistan. “We have very good business relations with the Serum Institute of India and we would try our best to procure it as early as possible.”

Vaccine for $6-7 per dose

The native agency has provided to offer the vaccine at the price of $6 to $7 (Rs1,000 to Rs1,200) per dose to the federal and provincial governments if procured in bulk amount (30 to 50 million doses).

To the personal sector, the agency has provided Rs2,000 to Rs2,500 per dose in the event that they place orders of 10,000 or extra doses. “But it should be very clear that we would only be providing the vaccine to reputed institutions like Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Shaukat Khanum hospital, and others,” confused Ghani.

When requested about companies providing to obtain vaccine for $13.5 to $15.5 to the Sindh authorities, Ghani underscored that his firm was the “sole importer” and “authorized agents” of the AstraZeneca firm in Pakistan – which was not even prepared to provide the vaccine on to Pakistan.

“Similarly, there are reports that we have offered to supply the vaccine in thousands of rupees per dose, which is also incorrect and misleading. We cannot supply any product without the approval of DRAP and we hope that it would approve the vaccine price, which we have demanded,” he added.

No product may be offered in Pakistan with out DRAP approving the value

In the meantime, a DRAP official stated no product may be offered in Pakistan with out the approval of the pricing board. “The DRAP’s pricing board is reviewing the requests for price approval of both the vaccine.”

Responding to a question, the DRAP official maintained that each Oxford-Astrazeneca and China’s Sinopharm vaccines have been given emergency use authorisation and if any Hostile Impact Following Immunization (AEFI) was noticed, the emergency use authorisation might be withdrawn instantly.

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