While 1,502 people were infected with the coronavirus and 57 people lost their lives in one day across the country. The government allowed private companies to import Covid-19 vaccines and announced vaccine price limits for sale on local markets.
However, only registered vaccines can imported from trusted pharmaceutical companies. And the vaccine price will be fixed once the vaccine is available on the international market.
” Decision has been taken to provide an opportunity to private companies to import vaccine and help save precious lives. However, import of only registered vaccine, who’s already using in the countries. Where that is manufactured, will be allowed,” an NHS official said on condition of privacy.
He said the Covid-19 vaccine is not available on the market because most of the vaccines are sold through bilateral agreements between countries or given to Covax. An international alliance has pledged to give 20% of Pakistan’s population one vaccine free.
” However, some of the companies approached the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap). And claimed that they can arrange the vaccine and requested for selling it in the market. So it has decided to allow them to import the vaccine and save the lives of those people who can afford to buy the vaccine directly from the market,” he said.
“PM’s aide says no reference cost is available anywhere in the world to fix jab’s price”
Various prices of vaccine in market
When asked, the officer replied that it has almost impossible to determine the price of the vaccine because it is currently being selling at a different price. “In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to convince companies to sell vaccines to countries at a discount. This is because several companies make vaccines in India. China does the same. China has already given the Covid-19 vaccine to Pakistan and has donated and also supplies vaccines to a number of countries at discounted prices. So we cannot determine the price yet, “he said.
” The matter has sent to the federal cabinet who’s allowed private companies to import the vaccine. And exempted price cap on its sale in the local market. Drap will strictly monitor the process of vaccination as records of every person/purchaser has maintained. We will fix the vaccine price once the vaccine will be easily available in the international market. Also, its price stabilizes,” he said.
The official said the company had not allowed to use people for clinical trials with the vaccine. And required to provide certificates of analysis and other relevant documents.
The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant for Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan told that private orders for the Covid-19 vaccine are allowed, but it is not the main method of vaccination in Pakistan.
When asked, he replied that there was no reference vaccines price anywhere in the world for pricing vaccines. ” The government will enforce one, once it’s available from any country and will also review the prices being charged,” he added.
NHS ministry spokesman Sajid Shah told Dawn that the government is making free vaccines available to the masses. Also, announced a policy of vaccinating health workers and people over 65 in the first phase.
” However, in the meanwhile, if vaccine arrives through the private sector, it will benefit those people who can afford to buy it, thus saving precious lives,” he added.
It noted that currently, only 500,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine donated from China have arrived in Pakistan. The country has ordered 1.1 million more doses of the vaccine from the Chinese company Sinopharm.
Additionally, Covax announced it would provide 17 million cans free by the end of March.
The vaccination campaign started on February 2 by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Covid-19 cases and deaths
According to the National Command and Operations Center, 1,502 Covid-19 cases and 57 deaths have been reported nationwide in the past 24 hours. In addition, there are 267 fans on Thursday – 37. 35 in Multan, 28 in Lahore in Peshawar and 23 in Islamabad.
The number of active cases stood at 30,225, and 2,189 patients were admitted to various hospitals across the country as of Thursday.
Since the pandemic started on 26 February 2020, a total of 559,093 cases and 12,185 deaths have been recorded in the country.
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