Clinical trials for coronavirus vaccine to begin in Pakistan this week

Dr Atta-ur-Rahman says the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the country between April and June

Chairman of Prime Minister's National Task Force on Science and Technology Prof Dr Atta-ur-Rahman. —

ISLAMABAD: Renowned scientist and Chairman of Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Science and Technology, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman has said that the clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine proposed by a well-acclaimed international company will start in Pakistan this week.

International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), which is based in the University of Karachi, has been approved for conducting clinical trials of the vaccine.

“The clinical trials will be conducted in partnership with Indus Hospital, Karachi”, he said while talking to APP.

Read more: China to supply COVID-19 vaccine to Pakistan for trials

The application for conducting clinical trials of this vaccine was submitted to the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) for approval a few months ago.

Dr Rahman said that it usually takes two to three months for the completion of a vaccine's clinical trials.

“In Pakistan, the first phase of the clinical trials is likely to start this week and it will be completed in around three months”, he said.

Read more: Pakistan to run Phase 3 trials of vaccine developed by China’s CNBG

“The second phase of clinical trials has already completed in China. The third phase will begin after completion of the first phase and it will also take three months," he said.

The whole process of clinical trials (Phase-I and Phase III) will take approximately six months, after which the country will be able to manufacture the vaccine if the results are positive, he said.

Depending on the success of the trials, Dr Rahman said that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the country between April and June.

Read more: CanSino Phase 3 trial set to begin this month in Pakistan

Regarding the price of the vaccine, he said it could not be predicted as of now.

“We can only know about the price of the vaccine after the manufacturing process starts,” he said.

“We were in contact with several international companies for vaccine production after which one major international company agreed to conduct clinical trials of their vaccine in Pakistan," Dr Rahman added.