COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Decision Still Pending

Vaccine Trials, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman Sunday said the approval was still awaited from Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) to conduct clinical trials

COVID-19 Vaccine Trials  Decision Still Pending

The proposed internationally recognized vaccine for COVID-19 in Pakistan.

Vaccine Trials, He said the queries received from the DRAP on few matters have been addressed in time and sent back, he said while talking to APP on Sunday.

He said the application for conducting clinical trials of this vaccine produced by a well acclaimed international company was submitted to DRAP for approval. The clinical trials of that vaccine have been done internationally.

Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman said, “We were in contact with several international companies for vaccine production after which one of the major international companies agreed to conduct clinical trials of their vaccination in Pakistan”.

Vaccine Trials, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman who is also the chairman of PM’s Task Force on COVID-19 hoped that DRAP is expected to give approval of clinical trials of this vaccine shortly. The clinical trials will be conducted in our supervision soon after approval.

He said, “It takes three to four months to complete clinical trials of a vaccine and hopefully, if DRAP grants approval within two weeks, the clinical trials will be completed within next four months. If the results of these trials come positive, then the mass production of the vaccine can be started”.

Depending on the success results of this vaccine, it can be available in Pakistan between the months of December to March. As we are involved in all this process so we will get this vaccine by the company on preferential basis.

Vaccine Trials, Listing some other measures taken to tackle the challenge of COVID-19 at government level, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said a major programme titled `PROTECT’ has been initiated to conduct clinical trials of different internationally approved drugs including hydroxichloroquine, erthromycine in Pakistan.

This project of clinical trials of drugs, with the involvement of a dozen of institutions of the country including hospitals, research institutions and universities, will help check the effectiveness of these drugs on our own population.

This will also reveal that to what extent these drugs can effectively fight against the type of COVID exists in our country, he said.

The clinical trials on these drugs were already in progress in the other countries. Clinical trials of these drugs in Pakistan will help identify those drugs which can be more helpful for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman said the government was also taking strong measures to expand the testing facility.

Earlier, we were conducting only 400 tests during the month of March and now the capacity has been increased up to 30,000 tests per day.

Vaccine Trials, For this purpose, a number of laboratories were established including Punjab Forensic Science Agency in Lahore which is fully equipped to conduct tests on a larger scale.

International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences based in University of Karachi was also conducting tests on larger scales.

About the local manufacturing of ventilators, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said three designs of ventilators got approval from DRAP out of 11 shortlisted. The prototypes of the selected designs are in process after which manufacturing process will start.

The ventilators handed over to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) by the Prime Minister recently were based on the Turkish Technology. The kits were imported from Turkey and assembled in Pakistan.

However, now Pakistani experts will be able to completely manufacture the ventilators with their own technology.

He said that promotion of local manufacturing of different things like masks, suits, gloves, sanitizers, testing kits etc would help increase exports of the country.

Earlier the country was spending a lot of money on import of all such things but now local manufacturing will make the country self-reliant and enable it to earn revenues through exports, he said.

Mentioning another project, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said Pakistani researchers were working on a 100 genome project to observe the genome from different coronavirus patients to identify the changes occurred in its structure.

He said the scientists and researchers at Jamil-ur-Rahman Centre for Genome Research, Karachi have isolated the coronavirus and discovered changes in its structure at eight places as compared to the original virus found in China.

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