US offers Pakistan cooperation in developing vaccine

By: News Desk      Published: 10:09 PM, 21 Nov, 2020
US offers Pakistan cooperation in developing vaccine

The United States has offered cooperation to Pakistan in developing anti-corona vaccine following the news of Islamabad’s headway for the cause, sources said on Saturday.

Pakistani mission in the US has told the government about the US offer, the insiders said, adding that in the first phase, domestic needs will be met and it would be available in friendly states and coalition partners in the second phase.

The US will welcome Pakistan’s endeavours to develop an anti-covid vaccine and American firms will assist Pakistani experts for the purpose, Washington said, adding that mutual cooperation will help tackle the situation at the local level.

The Pakistani Mission in the US suggested holding consultation with all the stakeholders., the sources said, adding that the Pakistani government expressed a positive response to American offer.

Prime Minister Imran Khan directed the health ministry to seek suggestions from the local firms, the insiders said, adding that the premier also sought suggestions from health experts.

The development comes a day after Pakistani experts, backed by China, reportedly conducted a successful trial of a vaccine to fight off coronavirus.

A total of 5,000 people – 2,500 from Islamabad, 1400 from Karachi and 800 from Lahore – was administered the vaccine and these people recovered from the deadly virus after being administered the vaccine.

However, the experts were of the view that the trial results could take three months while the antibodies test will be conducted 56 days after administering the vaccine. The trial is underway in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Canada as well.

A few days ago, Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Science and Technology Chairman Dr Attaur Rehman said the Pfizer vaccine being celebrated worldwide was unsuitable for Pakistan.  

This vaccine is ‘not suitable for Pakistan in my opinion,’ he told a private news channel, stressing that it was too early to celebrate the Pfizer vaccine news.  

He insisted that focus must be on other vaccines which are being developed and have seen similar results but haven’t been announced with fanfare.

He explained his viewpoint saying that he was cautious because he believes that the vaccine has problems to deal with. He stressed the vaccine needs to be kept at a temperature of -80 °C, which was a major problem for third world countries, including Pakistan, as the states do not have the cold chain.