Corona vaccine: Pakistan relies on China and Russia, but the road is not easy

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While the program to introduce the Corona vaccine in India will be started on a war footing across the country from January 16, there are many countries in South Asia who will have to wait a little longer for this vaccine.

In particular, if we talk about Pakistan, the government there says that by mid-February, the first shipment from the Chinese company Sinopharma will be reached.

The President of Pakistan Medical Association, Kaiser Iqbal, told the BBC that so far all three phases of Sinovac’s trial by Sinopharma have been completed.

He said that Pakistan is also in talks with Russia for the vaccine, which is now in a decisive phase and soon the path to take the vaccine from Russia will also be cleared.

He says, “All the three phases of the trial have been successful, lasting till the 31st of December. In total, it was tried on 18,000 volunteers and now we are fully confident of its potential. But to bring the vaccine across the country and Giving people is a big challenge. “

At the same time, according to the caretaker health minister of Pakistan Faisal Sultan, by the middle of February this year when the vaccine from China will reach Pakistan, the people who will be vaccinated in the first phase will be health workers and ‘frontline workers’ besides senior citizens.

Faisal Sultan is also an advisor to Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding health and coronavirus. He says that in the first batch, more than one million vaccine doses have been asked for five lakh people. By the way, the number of people infected with coronavirus in Pakistan is also around five lakhs.

Other vaccine

Pakistan Medical Association says that in addition to the vaccines of Russia and China, Pakistan is also trying to get the bio-tech, Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.

According to former Pakistan Public Service officer and ‘Public Policy’ expert Hassan Khwar, Pakistan has allocated 150 billion dollars for the vaccine of Covid-19, so that more than a million doses can be purchased.

He says, “Even if these consignments come, it will only benefit 0.2 per cent of the population of Pakistan. It makes sense that the amount allocated to Pakistan to carry the vaccine to a large part of the population would need more than that. “

Experts believe that the target of applying corona vaccine to the population of 70 billion in front of Pakistan. Then he can get ‘herd immunity’ somewhere. That is, this neighbour of India needs 140 billion doses for which a lot of money needs to be allocated.

The challenges

But according to Hassan Khwar, the biggest challenge is the availability of vaccine. According to him, the manufacturers of the vaccine have completed all orders up to this year.

He believes that there is no visible vaccine from the vaccine companies of western countries this year. However, he says that if Pakistan does not order the vaccines of Russia and China in time, then it will be difficult to meet them.

Hassan Khawar believes that Pakistan will have to take an immediate decision on this or else it will fall behind in the race to get the vaccine.

He says, “Getting vaccines is not even an equal game for all developing countries. The number of countries with large economies that have been booked so far is 72 percent. The rest of the middle-income and completely backward countries Are. They say that the poorest countries have not even been able to book vaccines. “

According to Nausheen Hamid, the parliamentary secretary in the Union Health Service Ministry of Pakistan, the government of Pakistan has also taken help of some private companies to get the vaccine.

He says that currently the polio vaccination work is going on vigorously in Pakistan, so its benefit will also be taken in applying the corona vaccine.

Resistance and danger

Although the campaign has suffered a setback after the murder of a health worker involved in polio campaign in the area of ​​Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, but the President of Pakistan Medical Association, Kaiser Sajjad, says that there is a lobby in every country against vaccination. But it will not make any difference.

He said that rumors have been spreading not only about the vaccine but also about the coronavirus.

He says, “Many people have refused to accept corona as well. But they say that coronavirus vaccination will be slightly different from polio vaccination because health workers knock home for polio vaccination.”

“Vaccine centers will be built for the corona vaccine and it will depend entirely on the will of the people who wants to get vaccinated. There will be no coercion. The goal will be to give the first vaccination to senior citizens or people suffering from other serious diseases. . “

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