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health
Monday May 24 2021
By
Web Desk

Pakistan doctors seek WHO’s help on vaccine issue for travellers

By
Web Desk
File photo of a vaccine vial.

  • Pakistan doctors have urged WHO to settle vaccine issue for international travellers.
  • PMA says the policy of approving specific brands of corona vaccine will have a devastating effect on international travelling. 
  • The WHO has given emergency approval to COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Sinopharm.


LAHORE: Amid the controversy over approval of specific brands of COVID-19 vaccines by some country, Pakistani doctors have sought the intervention of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to play its role in resolving the vaccination issue faced by people who need to travel abroad.

Some countries have approved specific brands of the corona vaccine and have declared it mandatory for incoming visitors to be vaccinated with one of those brands.

Read more: CanSino vaccine to be available to Pakistanis by end of May

In a letter addressed to the WHO director general, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) said the fact that different countries were using different brands of the vaccine manufactured in different countries, means people are not using the same brands of COVID-19 vaccine globally.

“Even knowing the fact, some countries have approved specific brands mandatory for incoming visitors,” the letter read, adding that this policy of approving specific brands of corona vaccine will have a devastating effect on international travelling and trade.

Read more: 'Not a problem for Pakistanis if Saudi Arabia imposes coronavirus vaccination restriction for Hajj'

Pakistan Medical Association (Centre) Secretary-General Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad said: “We have requested WHO to convince such countries to accept all the vaccine brands approved by all other countries for their citizens, otherwise, it will create a big problem for the people who wish to go abroad for employment, business, education, medical treatment and for other purposes.

Vaccines approved by WHO

Earlier this month, the world health body had approved a vaccine produced by China's state-owned drug maker Sinopharm.

The vaccine, one of two main Chinese coronavirus vaccines that have been given to hundreds of millions of people in China and elsewhere, is the first developed by a non-Western country to win WHO backing.

Read more: Coronavirus vaccines have helped nine people become billionaires: campaign group

It is also the first time the WHO has given emergency use approval to a Chinese vaccine for any infectious disease.

A WHO emergency listing is a signal to national regulators that a product is safe and effective. It also allows it to be included in COVAX, a global programme to provide vaccines mainly for poor countries, which has hit supply problems. read more

The WHO had already given emergency approval to COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna.