A representative of The Chughtai Laboratory said that they are expecting to receive the first shipment of Sputnik V COVID 19 Vaccine within one to two weeks. Dr. Umar Chughtai, Lab Director at the Chughtai Lab broke the news on his official Twitter account. This will make the Lab first in the world to commercially distribute COVID 19 vaccine. It is pertinent to mention here that the Government of Pakistan has already launched a campaign to administer Sinopharm Vaccine donated by China free of cost.
Despite other countries of the world which are importing and distributing COVID 19 vaccine through government channel, Pakistan is the first country which allowed the commercial import and sale of the vaccine without price cape.
The Chughtai Lab is also intended to import other vaccines. Initially, the price of the vaccine is expected at the high end which will be reduced gradually with the availability of other vaccines. However, the developers of Sputnik Vaccine have said that the cost of two doses of the vaccine is $10 (Pkr. 1590 approximately). Pakistan has already approved four COVID Vaccines i.e., Sputnik V, AstraZeneca – Oxford University, CanSino Bio and Cinopharm for emergency use.
In another Tweet, the private lab official said that “vaccination program will commence after relevant registration and authorizations from the Ministry of Health, NIH, DRAP and National Immunization Management System”. The lab is importing Sputnik V vaccine through Ali Gohar Pharmaceutical and Direct Investment Fund of Russia. However, other private laboratories from Pakistan are also struggling to book the shots of Sputnik V vaccine for private sale.
At the same time, the global authorities are concerned that despite the availability of vaccine coronavirus is going to stay for a long time. European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) chief has recently urged European countries, not to drop precautionary measures despite decrease in cases and availability of vaccine.