Pakistan to Start Phase-III Clinical Trials of Corona Vaccine from September: Nausheen Hamid

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21 (APP): Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Dr Nousheen Hamid Friday announced that Pakistan’s drug watchdog has approved the Phase-III clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with a Chinese company and the trial of the vaccine would begin from September.

Talking to a private news channel, she said that under the supervision of the National Institute of Health (NIH) vaccine trial would be started where around 8000 volunteers were selected for the first-ever Phase-III clinical trial for any vaccine in Pakistan.

She said the clinical trials on these vaccines were already in progress in other countries. Clinical trials of these drugs in Pakistan will help identify those drugs which can be more helpful for treatment of COVID-19 patients. The first trial in Pakistan would likely be conducted at Indus Hospital, Karachi, for which volunteers, both male and female, have registered.

The NIH executive director, would be the principal investigator of the clinical trial, she added. These trials would speed up the availability of vaccines at reasonable prices in Pakistan and also enhance the country’s ability to develop vaccines locally, she said. Replying to a question, she said if cases of COVID-19 increased they would go for micro and partial lockdowns in the country.

She also urged the public to continue precautions to save their own lives and those of their families, neighbours and others, saying that the novel coronavirus could be handled with safety measures only. National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) organizing meetings on daily basis to discuss and monitor the corona related situation in the country.

“The authorities are closely observing the situation and we are ready to counter any emergency situation in future. The decisions are being revised on a daily basis in the light of observations”, she added.

She said the government of Pakistan was taking concrete measures to control hepatitis in the country. “We are going to screen a large portion of the population for hepatitis in the coming months. Strategies are being devised to address the health related issues as well”, she said.

Replying to another question, she said the government was fully committed to eradicate polio from the country and the international community must realize the situation and work as a team to achieve this goal. She assured that with effective polio eradication drives in the country they would be able to control the rising number of polio cases till the year 2022.

“Eradication of polio is the foremost priority of the government and the whole nation is on one page for the cause”, she said.

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