Islamabad [Pakistan]July 22 (ANI): Despite rising Covid cases in Pakistan, the South Asian country may not be able to produce its own Covid vaccines due to lack of technical capacity and non-availability of a biotech factory to produce the latest type of vaccines.
The World Trade Organization rejection has opened the way for Pakistan to produce jabs using mRNA technology, but Pakistan does not have a biotech factory to produce the latest type of vaccines, said University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice-Chancellor Dr Javed Akram. Dawn reported.
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Dr Akram, who is also a member of the Scientific Task Force on COVID-19, also said that Pfizer and Moderna Jabs are currently the only mRNA vaccines in use in Pakistan, as he expressed concern over Pakistan’s ability to avail of the waiver, saying that Islamabad does not have any biotech factories that would be used to produce such vaccines.
“I had contacted the Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) and they formed a consortium to build the biotech plant. Even the funds were collected by the association, but the government could not give [us] assurance of favorable policies including tax holidays,” he said, adding that then CJP Nisar summoned him to brief the court on the matter, Dawn reported.
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He added that the matter is still pending in court.
Dr Akram also suggested that Pakistan should take advantage of the opportunity by involving the private sector as it was not the government’s job to set up a biotech factory investing billions of rupees.
Vice-Chancellor of the Academy of Health Services Dr. Speaking to Dawn, Shahzad Ali Khan said, “It is a state-of-the-art technology in which genetic material is artificially produced and injected into the human body to reduce the chance of infection.
He added, “mRNA vaccines are useful for many diseases, and I hope that in the future HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) will also be controlled with these shots.”
Notably, fifteen companies from 15 countries are currently learning how to produce mRNA vaccines against Covid-19 at the South African company Afrigen Biologics. These countries are Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Serbia, Egypt, Kenya and Ukraine. (ANI)
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