The government has approved China’s CanSinoBio Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr Faisal Sultan said on Friday.
“Yes, Correct,” Sultan texted Reuters after being asked to confirm that the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) had met and approved the vaccine.
Drap has already approved three other vaccines for use in Pakistan — China’s Sinopharm, Russia’s Sputnik-V and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine.
CanSinoBIO last week released interim efficacy results of a multi-country trial, which included Pakistan, showing 65.7 per cent efficacy in preventing symptomatic coronavirus cases and a 90.98pc success rate in stopping severe infections.
In the Pakistani subset, the efficacy of the vaccine at preventing symptomatic cases was 74.8pc and 100pc at preventing severe disease.
Although Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese developers have shown lower protection rates than some Western ones, and no detailed study results are publicly available yet, they have already been approved in several developing countries battling a surge in coronavirus infections.
Besides Pakistan, the CanSinoBIO vaccine is being tested in Mexico, Russia, Argentina and Chile, according to clinical trial registration data, and the company has supply deals with some of those countries, including Mexico.