8 COVID Vaccines are in Pakistan – Find Out The Best One For You

corona vaccines available in Pakistan, best vaccine for corona

Coronavirus vaccination campaigns have been progressing nationwide at a steady pace. I have tried my best to give you brief information regarding the availability of corona vaccines in Pakistan, the best of them all, along with some myths associated with the vaccines. 

Pakistan has also started working on protocols to initiate trials for a nasal Covid-19 vaccine. It will be a single-dose vaccine that will not require a syringe for administration. Dr. Javed Akram, Vice-Chancellor at UHS, in his interview with Dawn News, addressed that:

“The vaccine will be single dose and has been manufactured by the CanSino Biologics whose single-dose injectable vaccine is already being used in Pakistan. Nasal vaccines are usually given to children but there will be no age limit for it and it can be administered to both children and adults.”

Source: Dawn News

Corona Vaccines Available in Pakistan

In Pakistan, 8 coronavirus vaccines are available and being administered.

  1. Sinopharm
  2. CanSino Bio
  3. Sputnik V
  4. SinoVac
  5. Astrazeneca
  6. Pfizer
  7. PakVac
  8. Janssen

Following is brief information regarding the 8 vaccines approved by the Ministry of Health in Pakistan.

Manufacturer

SinopharmCanSino BioSputnik VSinoVacAstrazenecaPfizerPakVacJanssen
ChinaChinaRussiaChinaUKUS, GermanyPakistanUS

Vaccine Administration

Vaccine TypeRoute of AdministrationSite of AdministrationDosePresentationRegimen
SinopharmIntra-muscularDeltoid Muscle0.5mlSingle-dose vialDouble doses
CanSino BioIntra-muscularLateral Deltoid Muscle0.5mlSingle-dose vialSingle dose
Sputnik VIntra-muscularDeltoid Muscle0.5mlSingle-dose vial
(21 days apart)
Double doses
SinoVacIntra-muscularDeltoid Muscle0.5mlSingle-dose vial
(28 days apart)
Double doses
AstrazenecaIntra-muscularLateral Deltoid Muscle0.5mlSingle-dose vial
(12 weeks apart)
Double doses
PfizerIntra-muscularDeltoid Muscle0.3mlMulti-dose vial
(21 days apart)
Double doses
PakVacIntra-muscularDeltoid Muscle0.5mlSingle-dose vialDouble doses
JanssenIntra-muscularDeltoid Muscle0.5mlMulti-dose vialSingle dose
Source: National Command and Operation Center (NCOC)

Sinopharm Vaccine

Efficacy: 79.34%

Storage conditions: 2 – 8 degree Celcius

The Sinopharm vaccine by China is a chemically inactivated coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine shares similar technology with the SinoVac vaccine. WHO approved this vaccine to be used globally for emergency purposes. They also conducted on-site inspections of the production facility. Dr. Mariangela Simao, Assistant Director-General, stated that: 

“The addition of this vaccine has the potential to rapidly accelerate Covid-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and population at risk. We urge the manufacturer to participate in the Covax facility and contribute to the goal of more equitable vaccine distribution.” 

Source: World Health Organization (May 2021)

Who should receive the Sinopharm Vaccine

  • Age: 18 to 60 years of age.
  • Comorbidities: Persons with comorbidities including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

CanSino Bio Vaccine

Efficacy: 91% (for severe disease) and 65.7% (for moderate symptoms)

Storage conditions: 2 – 8 degree Celcius

The CanSino Bio which is a product of China is a viral vector coronavirus vaccine. This vaccine needs special handling to maintain its effectiveness. 

Who should receive the CanSino Bio vaccine

  • Age: 18 years and above.

Sputnik V Vaccine

Efficacy: 91.6%

Storage conditions: -18.5-degree Celsius (liquid form) and 2 to 8 degree Celsius (dry form)

The Sputnik V Vaccine has been developed by Russia. It is an adenovirus viral vector vaccine for coronavirus. This vaccine is allowed for emergency use in various countries. 

Who should receive the Sputnik V vaccine

  • Age: 18 years and above.
  • Comorbidities: Persons with comorbidities including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

SinoVac Vaccine

Efficacy: 67% (for symptomatic infection), 85% (for preventing hospitalization), and 80% (for preventing deaths)

Storage conditions: 2 to 8 degree Celcius

The SinoVac vaccine also referred to as CoronaVac, is developed by China. WHO report states:

“The Covis-19 vaccine produced by China’s Sinovac Biotech is efficacious in preventing Covid-19 in adults under 60 but some quality data on the risk of serious adverse effects is lacking.”

Source: World Health Organization (May 2021)

The easy storage conditions of this vaccine make it suitable for low-resource countries. This vaccine can remain stable for up to 3 years.

Who should receive the SinoVac vaccine

  • Age: 18 years and above
  • Comorbidities: Persons with comorbidities including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

AstraZeneca Vaccine

Efficacy: 62% (for preventing symptomatic disease)

Storage conditions: 2 to 8 degree Celsius (6 months)

The AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the UK is a modified adenovirus viral vector vaccine. This vaccine has been reported to have some side effects that involve an increased risk of blood clots along with low levels of blood platelets. 

“The cases of blood clots have been reported from the European Economic Area and the UK, where around 34 million people have received the vaccine.”

Source: European Medicines Agency (April 2021)

According to the Ministry of National Health Services, this vaccine has been observed as not suitable for adults below the age of 40, people having a history of severe allergic reactions to any component of the vaccine, people having an active gastrointestinal bleeding disorder, seizures, history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis. 

Who should receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

  • Age: Above 40 years.
  • Comorbidities: Adults with diabetes, hypertension, heart diseases, and other stable chronic disorders.
  • People with mild Covid: After the isolation period ends.
  • People with severe Covid: After achieving stability.
  • Chronically immunosuppressed: 3 months after transplantation and 28 days after chemotherapy.

Pfizer Vaccine

Efficacy: 95% 

Storage conditions: -80 to -60 degree celcius

Pfizer is an mRNA vaccine developed by the United States. An article on Pfizer Corona Virus Vaccine reported that Pakistan received its first 1 million doses of Pfizer vaccine. An additional 1 million dose of the same vaccine is expected to arrive in Pakistan in June or July. This vaccine is especially suitable for the immune-compromised population. 

Who should receive the Pfizer vaccine

  • Age: 12 years and above
  • Comorbidities: Persons with comorbidities including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

PakVac Vaccine

Efficacy: 65.7% (for preventing symptomatic virus)

Storage conditions: 2 – 8 degree Celcius

The PakVac vaccine is Pakistan’s homemade vaccine against the coronavirus. It was developed with the help of its ally China with a goal to vaccinate people in the country and prevent the spread of the virus. Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant Health, stated that:

“Pakistan is trying to overcome the difficult challenges and turn them into opportunities with the help of friends.”

Who should receive the PakVac vaccine

  • Age: 18 years and above.
  • Comorbidities: Persons with comorbidities including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Janssen Vaccine

Efficacy: 66% (for moderate symptoms) and 85% (for preventing severe disease)

Storage conditions: -20 degrees Celcius

To store this vaccine at such a temperature can be challenging for third-world countries, it can be kept for three months at 2-8 degrees celsius and has a long shelf life of 2 years. 

After the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Janssen vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson is appropriate to be used in emergency cases worldwide. It is the first vaccine that has a single-dose regimen. This vaccine has been tested to be effective in older populations. 

Who should receive the Janssen vaccine

  • Age: 18 years and above.
  • Comorbidities: Persons with comorbidities including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and diabetes.
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Best Vaccine for Corona

Various vaccines for Covid-19 have been developed so far to curtail this pandemic. Many of us are confused and struggling to find the best vaccine for coronavirus. I would address this query in terms of the vaccine’s efficacy as well storage conditions. 

In terms of efficacy, CanSino Bio, Sputnik V, and Pfizer have been proved to be the most effective of all the vaccines available. This does not mean that the rest of the vaccines are of no use. They also have been treating the disease well.

If we talk about storage conditions, the vaccines that can be stored at 2 – 8 degrees Celcius are especially effective for low-resource countries like Pakistan. All the above-mentioned vaccines except Janssen and Pfizer can be kept at 2 – 8 degrees Celcius. Janssen and Pfizer require extreme storage conditions which will make it difficult to be available everywhere across the country. 

Covid Vaccines Myths

Listed below are some of the most common myths that have been observed in Pakistan.

  1. If I have already gotten Covid-19, I don’t need the vaccine.
  2. It affects the fertility of women.
  3. Getting the vaccine can get you infected with Covid-19.
  4. The vaccine enters the cells and changes the DNA.

Things to Remember

Vaccines are an integral part of the strategy to deal with the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. It is advisable that all age recipients of the vaccine should continue to follow strict precautionary measures to fight the virus. The vaccine should not be administered to anyone having symptoms of the Covid-19 virus. 

The Covid-19 virus must not be taken lightly as it has taken the lives of many. We as citizens must follow strict SOPs to protect ourselves and those around us. 

The SOPs involve:

  • Use of face masks
  • Social distancing
  • Hand-washing with soap
  • Use of hand sanitizers.

Take care you all!

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