According to the health ministry officials, Pakistan will get the supplies of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in the next few months. Officials in the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination told The News that Pakistan might receive Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine through COVAX. Though the amount is not yet decided, most likely, doses will make their way to Pakistan in the coming months.
But officials have not given any positive sign of confirmation to the date of receiving the vaccine.
Until now, Pakistan has got 100,600 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine via COVAX for inoculation of immunosuppressed people.
Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine will be used as an alternative in case Pakistan does not receive Moderna’s vaccine via COVAX. “This vaccine would be a beneficial addition to the existing European and Chinese vaccines,” health ministry officials said.
Pfizer-BioNTech and the federal government of Pakistan have agreed on the supply of 13 million additional doses of the vaccine by the end of this year. However, officials clarified that we should expect a large number of doses to be supplied through COVAX. Plus, there is no correlation between the supply of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine and the recent talk of PM Mr. Khan with Bill Gates.
DRAP (Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan) has not granted authority to use the Moderna vaccine as an “emergency use” coronavirus vaccine.
DRAP officials added that they have forwarded the legal needs for the import of coronavirus vaccines.
A DRAP official said, “If a vaccine is allowed for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicine Agency, there is no need for emergency use authorization from DRAP.”
However, he said that the Moderna vaccine or its agents could register themselves in Pakistan by applying for the emergency use authorization with DRAP just as the European Chinese, US, and other vaccine producers have done.
So far, Pakistan has provided emergency use authorization to the following six various COVID-19 vaccines: European AstraZeneca, China’s Cansino, US Pfizer, Russian Sputnik V, Sinovac, and Sinopharm coronavirus vaccines.