Sindh allocates Rs1.5 billion to procure Covid vaccine

F.P. Report

KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department on Tuesday recommended an allocation of Rs1.5 billion for procurement of anti-coronavirus vaccine.

A spokesperson for the provincial health department said a draft will be prepared to seek the approval of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. The provincial government is negotiating the import of Covid-19 vaccines with two private companies.

The development comes after National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) chief Asad Umar asserted that DRAP’s decision meant the federal and provincial governments, as well as the private sector, was free to import and roll out the approved vaccines.

With a new coronavirus variant threatening the country’s prevention measures to curb the pandemic, Pakistan has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections as 40,833 people tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 since the beginning of the new year.

Earlier, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has granted approval for emergency use of two coronavirus vaccines – the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine with 70.4% efficacy and China’s Sinopharm vaccine with an efficacy of 79% – while phase III clinical trials of the third vaccine by CanSino will be completed by the first week of February.