Chinese COVID-19 vaccine not suitable for pregnant woman, people above 60: Dr Faisal

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ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan warned that the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine for Covid-19 is not recommended for people aged above 60 and pregnant women.

His statement comes as Pakistan kicked off vaccination drive this week after receiving first shipment of 500,000 doses of the vaccine promised by China.

Talking to reporters in Islamabad, he said that the elder people would be given shots of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is expected to reach Pakistan later this month, local media reported.

The top health official said Russian vaccine Sputnik and another China-made vaccine Cansino could also be taken as suitable option.

Sultan said that the shots of Sinopharm will be given to people aged 16-60 as trials are underway to determine its efficacy for the elderly, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The PM’s special adviser said that this was usual when a new medicine is introduced for public use.

On Wednesday, Pakistan launched the drive by vaccinating frontline health workers against the COVID-19, days after Pakistan received doses donated by China.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) had approved the Chinese vaccine for emergency use last month.