ISLAMABAD: Russian state-owned Sputnik V company and Chinese firm Anhui Zheifi Longcom Biopharmaceuticals Company Limited have appealed DRAP for emergency use and Phase 3 clinical trials in Pakistan, respectively, as reported by Dawn. The firms hope to join Oxford-AstraZeneca and Sinopharm, whose vaccines have already been registered. Pakistan has pre-ordered 1.1 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine while CanSino Biologics, another Chinese firm, has been begun Phase 3 trials of its vaccine in Pakistan.
The Sputnik V, the world’s first anti-COVID-19 vaccine to be registered, is produced by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in collaboration with partners and manufacturers. According to its website the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 91.4% and can be stored at a temperature of +2 to +8 degrees Celsius and it will cost $10 per dose on international markets (Sputnik V is a double-dose vaccine), making it cheaper and much easier to store than many of the other vaccine candidates.
The vaccines higher storage temperatures make it an especially promising option for countries like Pakistan where there is warm weather and a lack of ultra-cold freezers. Vaccines that can only be stored at ultra-cold temperatures, such as the one developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, which has to be stored at temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius or below, are, arguably, unusable for most Asian and African countries.
Meanwhile, while the growing queue of vaccine candidates awaiting approval in Pakistan is promising news, the virus continues to spread. According to National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) data, 47 more succumbed to the virus yesterday while another 1,745 new cases were recorded. This brings the overall Pakistani death toll to 11,204.