The University of Health Sciences (UHS) Punjab’s Vice-Chancellor Dr Javed Akram said on Wednesday that a vaccine for coronavirus should be available in Pakistan “within six to eight weeks.”
Speaking to Geo News, Dr Akram said that his institute has tested a Chinese-made vaccine on 3,000-plus people across the country during phase 3-B trials, which are currently underway.
He added that the antibody response in vaccinated individuals has been promising.
“We vaccinated people and tested them for the virus after 28 days. The trials are being carried out successfully and the vaccine to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should hopefully be available in Pakistan within six to eight weeks,” Dr Akram claimed.
Explaining the process of how the vaccine is going to work, he said that if 35% of the population is vaccinated, the pandemic will be brought under control.
“To find out the effectiveness of the vaccine, it is important that trials are carried out on our own people,” Dr Javed Akram said. “The trials carried out in the United States and China might not be effective in Pakistan.”
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s National Task Force on Science and Technology’s Chairman Dr Atta-ur-Rehman had also commented on Pakistan conducting trials of two Chinese vaccines, which he said are showing positive results.
“One Chinese vaccine, by Sinopharm, is in phase-3 of clinical trials and has shown good results in multiple countries but they have not highlighted its success like Pfizer,” said Dr Rehman.
He added that the trial is being conducted in Karachi University’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences and Indus Hospital.
The Task Force chairman said that Sinopharm has agreed to provide the vaccine to Pakistan at “reasonable rates”, adding that the phase-3 clinical trial of another Chinese vaccine is being carried out at the National Institute of Health.
“Unlike the vaccine by Pfizer, the Chinese vaccines can be transported at normal temperatures and do not have to be kept at -80°C. They will better suit Pakistan and other third world countries,” Dr Rehman said.