Islamabad: Pakistan has authorised the emergency use of Russia’s Sputnik V, the third anti-COVID-19 vaccine approved by the country against the deadly coronavirus, authorities said on Sunday.
The government has given a go-ahead to a local pharmaceutical company for the import and distribution of the Russian-developed Sputnik V, the Dawn newspaper quoted an official as saying.
Sputnik V is the third vaccine to be approved for the emergency use in the country, the report said.
“In a meeting conducted by the registration board of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), another vaccine has also been given EUA (emergency use authorisation) which was developed with the backing of Russian Development Investment Fund,” the official said.
A local pharmaceutical AGP, he said, had been authorised as the sole importer and distributor of the Russian vaccine, according to the paper.
Pakistan reported 48 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities due to the disease to 11,295, while 2,070 patients were in a critical condition, according to the ministry of National Health Services.
The ministry further reported that 486,489 people have recovered, meaning that the number of active patients was 34,628.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country reached 532,412 after 1,594 new infections were detected in the past 24 hours.
The authorities so far have carried out 7,642,665 tests in the country, including 40,285 in the last 24 hours.
On January 17, DRAP authorised the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in Pakistan.
A couple of days later, the regulatory body approved Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the second shot to be given approval for the use in the country.
Last week, Hungary became the first European Union country to approve the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine for public distribution. A short time later the UAE also announced the same decision making it 12th country outside of Russia which have authorised its use.