Pakistan: Age limit for Chinese vaccine jabs reduced by 10 years

Islamabad: Pakistan has reduced the age limit for single-dose jabs of Chinese vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics Inc by 10 years.

The decision comes days after Pakistan received the vaccines developed by China’s CanSino Biologics Inc.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) previously announced that vaccine could be administered to people aged 80 or above but now the age limit has been reduced from 80 to 70 years, the Authority said.

Following the changes, septuagenarians -a person who is between 70 and 79 years old – in Islamabad may now get the CanSino vaccine jabs.

Pakistan started administrating single-dose Chinese vaccine to people aged above 80 from April 5 in all provinces.

A consignment carrying 60,000 doses of the anti-COVID vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics Inc was received last week. The government had announced to set up separate Adult Vaccination Centers (AVCs) for it.

The vaccine will be made available at all walk-in facilities at the newly established AVCs, however, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has instructed that no vaccination be done outside the National Immunization Management System (NIMS), which means that without registration, nobody can be vaccinated with a single-dose.

A private firm AJM Pharmaceutical Limited will also be importing 10,000 doses of the CanSino coronavirus vaccine and it will be sold initially to three private hospitals in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi where its trials were held.

DRAP’s registration board had given emergency use authorisation to CanSino Biologics’s single-dose vaccine in the second week of February 2021 after the Chinese manufacturer released interim efficacy results from a multi-country trial, which included Pakistan.

The results showed 65.7% efficacy in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 cases and a 90.98% success rate in stopping severe infections.

The Pakistani government has been administering two coronavirus vaccines – both Chinese – at the state level. These include the single-dose CanSinoBIO jab and the double-dose drug manufactured by the China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm. Apart from Islamabad, the CanSinoBIO vaccine is being administered only to people over 80 across Pakistan.