Pakistan has increased its allocated funds for purchasing the Covid-19 vaccine from $150 million to being $250 million and has also signed agreements with various multinational companies. As per the agreement, the country will not be making details of it to the public.
The Parliamentary Secretary on National Health Services (NHS) Dr Nausheen Hamid added that the vaccine shall be available hopefully by the end of the first quarter of next year. The vaccine she said would be given out in phases, first to the health care workers, patients, and those elderly. By the end of 2021, it would be available to the common people. As of not being available this month or the start of the next, the official said that Pakistan was a developing country and funds could go to waste due to the risk factor being involved.
It was also told that when the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) was talked of for rules on vaccine registration, it said any vaccine registered in any developed country could be made of use anywhere just in case of emergency. The Head of Polio Programme and Expanded Programme of Immunization Dr Rana Safdar however agreed that there was an issue of cold chain management. He said that they’ve been reviewing their system to ensure supply of vaccine across the country. The -70 degree Celsius storage will only be used for Covid-19 vaccine.
Some health experts, however, suggest that it may take 10 months to one year to see if the vaccines have any chronic effects and it is better if the wait-and-see policy is adopted. The quality of the product, efficacy and availability should be all considered before any further step is taken. Pakistan like all other countries are waiting for the vaccine regardless of its good strategy against the virus as hailed by Bill Gates.