Tuesday Apr 27, 2021
KARACHI: Coronavirus vaccines imported for private use have run out in Pakistan as the country sees a surge in coronavirus cases, reported The News.
Pakistan had imported 50,000 doses of Sputnik V that were used by hospitals in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, have been exhausted while the Chinese single-dose Convidecia vaccine’s 10,000 doses are also on the verge of running out.
“Sputnik V vaccine is no more available in Pakistan as all its doses imported by us and supplied to major health facilities and institutions have been consumed. There may be some who would be waiting for their second dose but it is not available at the private vaccination centres anymore”, the AGP Pharma official told The News on Monday.
The importer declined to specify a time when new doses of the vaccine will be imported.
The double-dose Sputnik V vaccine was being offered at Rs12,268 for the two doses at major health facilities in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
On the other hand, 10,000 doses of single-dose Chinese vaccine Convidecia by the CanSino Biologics Inc, which were commercially imported by AJM Pharma Ltd, have been supplied to three major hospitals in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and would remain commercially available for a few more days, an AJM Pharma Ltd official told The News.
“We have supplied all the 10,000 doses of CanSino Biologics Convidecia vaccine to the health facilities. I think, it is privately available at the Shifa International Hospital Islamabad while in a few days, it would be available at Shaukat Khanum Hospital, Lahore and Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi”, he added.
The importer said they had shared the vaccine first with those facilities that agreed to carry out the Phase-III trials of the single-dose Chinese vaccine. He added that a small quantity had been imported in the initial shipment and will be consumed within days.
“The Convidecia vaccine would be supplied to more vaccination centres and facilities once we manage to get it imported in large quantities but that is not possible before Eid-ul-Fitr as there is an extreme shortage of COVID-19 vaccines around the globe,” the AJM official added.
On the other hand, the Medical Director of Shifa International Hospital Dr Zeeshan Bin Ishtiaque confirmed that they had started inoculations with Convidecia, whose maximum retail price was Rs4,250.
“We had received 1,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine and now we have received another 1,000 doses. It is being used to inoculate people privately in Islamabad,” Dr. Zeeshan added.