The administration of the Chinese CansinoBIO single-dose COVID-19 vaccine will commence in all provinces from Monday, according to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The vaccine can be administered to adults aged 18 and above. It will be available at private hospitals for Rs4,225. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) had given emergency use authorisation to CanSino Biologics’s single-dose vaccine in February 2021, after the manufacturer released interim efficacy results from a multi-country trial, which included Pakistan. The trials, conducted with AJM Pharma, showed 65.7 per cent efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases and a 90.98% success rate in stopping severe infections.

Meanwhile, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine has started being administered in private hospitals in Karachi. The two-dose Russian vaccine was privately procured by AGP Pharmaceuticals, and its cost has been fixed at Rs12,268. This vaccine has an efficacy rate of 96.7 per cent.

Free vaccination drives commenced across Pakistan in February, with frontline health workers and elderly citizens eligible for the vaccine. The vaccine being administered by the government is the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. Its developers have said it is 79.34 per cent effective against COVID-19 based on interim data. Citizens above the age of 65 can register for the vaccine by sending their CNIC to 1166 via SMS and walking in to their nearest vaccination centre. Those above age 50 can register the same way, and will be notified of a date and venue through SMS.

Hospitals under pressure with rise in infections

Prime Minister Imran Khan today visited the NCOC, where he was briefed by Federal Minister Asad Umar and DG Operations and Planning NCOC Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya about the latest situation of the coronavirus in the country, the measures taken thus far, and the future course of action for containment efforts.

The NCOC session today was also informed that due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases, an additional 594 oxygen beds have been added to Pakistan dedicated health facilities, with a special focus on Swat and Peshawar.

At least 393 coronavirus patients are battling for life on ventilators whereas 3,490 critical cases are being treated at hospitals across Pakistan, according to the data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday.

Pakistan reported 4,723 new cases on Friday amid an unrelenting third wave of the virus. Over the last 24 hours, 84 people passed away; 45 patients, including eight on ventilators, died in hospitals. Punjab continues to register the greatest number of COVID-19 deaths, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

A total of 14,697 deaths have been registered across Pakistan so far.

The number of fatalities registered in the provinces stands at 6,523 in Punjab, 4,506 in Sindh, 2,417 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 574 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 211 in Balochistan, 103 in Gilgit Baltistan (GB), and 363 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

As of April 3, 2021, there are 58,500 active cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan.


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