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Updated 28 November 2021

As Pakistan continues to be in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, with nine per cent of the peak – the highest daily average reported on June 17. Well, so far Pakistan has administered at least 120 million doses of COVID vaccines and many are continuing to get their doses.

Keep reading to know which vaccines are available in the country right now. 

Which vaccines are approved by Pakistan?

Pakistan has so far approved seven COVID-19 vaccines.

AstraZeneca: ChAdOx1

AstraZeneca is based on the virus’s genetic instructions for building the spike protein stored using double-stranded DNA. In simpler terms, it is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus, called adenovirus, from chimpanzees and has been modified to look more like coronavirus. 

The vaccine was authorized for emergency use on 16 January 2021.

Sinopharm: BBIBP-CorV

Sinopharm relies on the older but tested technology, which involves taking an inactivated form of the virus to stimulate the body’s immune response.

The Chinese pharmaceutical got the green signal from Pakistani authorities on 19 January 2021. 

Sputnik V: Gam-COVID-Vac

The Sputnik V is an adenovirus-based vector vaccine administered in two doses 28 days apart. The first dose of the Sputnik V vaccine utilizes adenovirus 26 as the vector for the coronavirus surface protein, while the second dose uses adenovirus 5.

Sputnik received EUA (emergency use authorisation) on 9 February 2021. 

Cansino: Convidecia AD5-nCOV

Developed by the Chinese military and Tianjin-based CanSino Biologics, Cansino is a single-dose viral vector vaccine suitable for adults over 18 years of age. CanSino’s vaccine uses a modified common cold virus to carry genetic material from the new coronavirus into the human body.

The vaccine was authorized for emergency use by the Pakistani authorities on 12 February 2021.

Sinovac: CoronaVac

Sinovac, too, is an inactivated virus vaccine, which means it is made from viral particles produced in a lab, which are then inactivated so they can’t infect with COVID-19.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved Sinovac for emergency use on 10 April 2021. 

Pfizer/BioNTech: BNT162b2

The BNT162b2 is a messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) vaccine meaning that it carries genetic instructions that help the recipient’s cells to produce protein pieces that trigger immune system response.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) approved Pfizer on 28 May 2021. 

Moderna: mRNA-1273

The Moderna vaccine primarily works by injecting a fraction of the COVID-19 virus’ genetic code into the body. This will trigger the body’s immune response, therefore, creating antibodies capable of fighting the virus. Moderna Takeda and SpikeVax both qualify as approved vaccines.

The vaccine was authorized by the Pakistani authorities on 4 July 2021.

Mandatory vaccine certificate for domestic travel

The NCOC has also announced that a COVID-19 vaccination certificate is now mandatory for domestic air travel and urged the public to get vaccinated by July 31 in order to avoid any inconvenience. This measure will come into place from August 1. 

However, partially vaccinated individuals, foreign nationals, Pakistani nationals having documentary proof of vaccination abroad, and patients who are clinically advised against vaccination due to risk of reaction are exempted from restriction.