Concern is mounting over the growing vaccine disparity between rich and poor nations, which the World Health Organization’s director-general has called a “catastrophic moral failure.” Pakistan
is not among the 55 nations that have started administering shots, according to data collected by Bloomberg.
The South Asian country has already ordered 1.2 million doses from Chinese state-backed vaccine developer Sinopharm, with deliveries to start Jan. 31. It has also given approval to AstraZeneca Plc’s shot for private use.
CanSino Biologics Inc. has also offered 20 million shots to Pakistan as it gets ready to release efficacy results “in a few days” from recently-completed Phase III trials, according to its local partner.
Controversy has swirled around Sputnik V since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced its registration for use before large-scale clinical studies were completed. Its developers have since said that an interim analysis of final-stage studies indicated it was more than 91% effective after volunteers received two doses. United Arab Emirates and Hungary approved the Russian vaccine in the past week.
The Kremlin is seeking to promote the Russian vaccine as a cheap, effective defense against the coronavirus through the two dose vaccine that needs to be taken three weeks apart.
Pakistan is currently being hit by a second wave of infections that caused a peak in hospitalizations and deaths last month. The outbreak has infected about 530,000 and killed over 11,000.
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.