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Pakistan to start private imports of CanSino COVID-19 vaccine for sale

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – A private company in Pakistan will start receiving deliveries of the Chinas CanSino Biologics COVID-19 vaccine this week for commercial sale, an official at the company’s local partner told Monday.

Photograph Photograph: A logo of China vaccine specialist CanSino Biologics Inc. was photographed at the company headquarters in Tianjin, China on August 17, 2020. REUTERS / Thomas Peter / Photo

Pakistan, one of the first countries in the world to allow private imports of COVID-19 vaccines, has already received a batch of Russian Sputnik vaccines.

We expect the first 10,000 doses to arrive on March 25, and the next 100,000 and 200,000 months after, said Hassan Abbas, an official of AJ Pharma, CanSino’s local partner, who will import the vaccine.

Pricing issues have been worked out with the government and now we are waiting for an announcement.

The vaccine trade name will be Convidecia, Abbas said, adding that five hospitals conducting its clinical trials will provide its doses for sale.

Pakistan is in the process of vaccinating first-line healthcare workers and citizens over the age of 60 for free using doses of Sinopharm donated by China.

Commercial vaccine administration is yet to begin as the government resolves pricing issues after changing its decision to allow uncovered pricing.

The government has approved a mechanism to regulate open market prices for vaccines, according to a health ministry review seen by Reuters.

The review proposed a price of Rs 8,449 ($ 54.30) per pack of two Russian vaccine injections and $ 4,225 ($ 27.15) per injection for Chinese Convidecia.

Prices are limited based on the approved mechanism, he said.

However, the minister in charge of COVID operations, Asad Umar, told a local TV channel that under the mechanism, the trade price for an imported vaccine would add an estimated 40% to the discounted cost, with another 15% for retailers. or hospitals.

CanSino Biologics and Pakistan Health Minister Faisal Sultan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pakistan is experiencing a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, reporting on Saturday the highest number of positive cases in a single day since July.

Additional reporting by Roxanne Liu in Beijing; Edited by Lincoln Feast and Ed Osmond

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