Chairman of Prime Minister’s Task Force on Science and Technology, Dr Attaur Rahman has said that the Pfizer vaccine is not suitable for Pakistan and most of the developing countries because of some various reason.
By Sayyed Shehzer Abbas
The first problem that he indicated was that the vaccine has not been given approval by the US Drug Regulatory Authority. This process will take around two months and Pakistan won’t be opting to use it. The regulatory bodies will have to see the results first then allow the company to move on to the next stage of finalizing the vaccine.
The main reason for unsuitability of this vaccine for Pakistan and other developing countries is that it is required to be kept at a temperature of -80°C which is not possible for developing countries as they do not have the “cold temperature carriage” that will allow them to transport the vaccine in required temperature. And minimum of two doses is required to become immune so it is not possible to keep the vaccine under such conditions where the average temperature of Pakistan is around 40°C to 50°C.
The third biggest reason that the chairman revealed was that since is the vaccine has not been approved, there is no credibility of how long its effect last. There isn’t any test that will define how long will the anti-bodies remain in the body. And when talking about the large-scale production of this vaccine, he feels that it would take at least one year to pass all the steps required and start mass production.
Moreover, he said that Pakistan has entered the phase 3 clinical trials of 2 Chinese vaccines. One is developed by CanSinoBio whereas the other is developed by Sinopharm. Both have shown positive results until now and the trials of these vaccines are being administered in Karachi University’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences and Indus Hospital. The chairman believes that these vaccines will be much “reasonable rates” and will not have to be kept at -80°C which will make it better suited for Pakistan and other third world countries.
Vaccine developed by CanSinoBio is already undergoing Phase 3, or large-scale, testing on humans in several countries, including China, Russia, Chile, and Argentina.
Chairman said that the trials began in September and will take 3 months to complete before sending a report back to China to be evaluated. Pakistan will be getting hold of the covid-19 vaccine really soon.