Weeks after importing Sputnik V vaccines for COVID-19, AGP Limited has finally been allowed to sell the vaccines by the Sindh High Court.
Developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Russia with support from the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Sputnik V is the world’s first approved COVID-19 vaccine and amongst the most effective.
The launch of this vaccine in Pakistan is a testimony to the fast-improving relationship between the Governments of Pakistan, Russia, and UAE.
It is also pertinent to note that, Pakistan was amongst the first countries that were provided access to the vaccine by Russia.
At a time when Pakistan is facing an emergency due to rising COVID-19 cases, the availability of Sputnik V would contribute to the Government’s efforts to vaccinate the entire population.
Sputnik V is the best available COVID-19 vaccine in Pakistan with an efficacy of 91.6%, which is much higher than the 65-70% efficacy of Chinese vaccines. The vaccine is currently available in private hospitals across Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad at PKR 12,268 for two doses, which is cheaper than two COVID-19 PCR tests.
Considering its superior efficiency, thousands have been administered the vaccine and there are over one million registration / confirmed demand for the vaccine. Moreover, several foreigners are eagerly waiting to be inoculated and it is expected that the Government will soon allow foreigners to receive the vaccination.
The Government of Pakistan is currently offering Chinese vaccines free of charge to people aged over 50 years and healthcare professionals; this has left a gap whereby those below 50 years who wish to get vaccinated have to wait for their turn which could take several weeks. Hence, AGP has stepped in to meet the demand of people who are willing to pay to get vaccinated in order to protect their health.
By allowing the private sector to commence vaccination, the Government of Pakistan has provided an opportunity to increase the vaccination rate which is currently amongst the lowest in the region.
Daily cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan have now crossed 5,000 with over 80 daily deaths. The only solution in sight is to get the entire population vaccinated on a war footing. This can only be achieved if the Government and the private sector work in tandem, which has just commenced.