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Sunday Jan 24 2021

Pakistan approves Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for emergency use

A woman holds a small bottle — labeled "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" — and a medical syringe, October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Files.
  • DRAP expects first consignment of Sputnik V to reach Pakistan by January end
  • Local pharmaceutical applied for registration, marketing and distribution
  • Russian vaccine to cost double the rate at which it is available in India

KARACHI: The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan has granted approval for emergency use of the Russian anti-coronavirus vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, commonly known as Sputnik V.

A report in The News said the authority hopes the first batch of the vaccine would reach Pakistan by the end of January. The registration board of DRAGP in its Friday meeting authorised emergency use of the Russia-made COVID-19 vaccine Gam-COVID-Vac, a DRAP official said.

Last week, the authority had approved Oxford–AstraZeneca and China's Sinopharm vaccines for emergency use. However, the country is yet to receive any vaccine. 

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 "A local pharmaceutical firm, AGP Limited, had applied for registration, marketing and distribution of the vaccine in Pakistan,” the DRAP official said.

The health authority said the approval was granted on the recommendation of a committee of experts comprising top infectious diseases experts and pathologists.

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"In all likelihood, a double dose of the Sputnik V in Pakistan would cost double the rate at which it is available in India," the official added.

Developed by M/s Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the vaccine has been approved in 11 countries, including Russia, Argentina, Hungary, and UAE, and registration in the European Union has also been filed.