ISLAMABAD: Renowned scientist and Chairman of Prime Minister’s task force on Science and Technology, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman Thursday said Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) needed to take emergency measures regarding approval of conducting clinical trials of an internationally recognized vaccine for COVID-19 in Pakistan.
“The application for conducting clinical trials of this vaccine produced by a well acclaimed international company was submitted to DRAP for approval. The clinical trials of that vaccine have been done internationally”, Dr Atta ur Rahman said in an interview with state news agency.
He said, “We were in contact with several international companies for vaccine production after which one of the major international companies agreed to conduct clinical trials of their vaccination in Pakistan”.
Dr Atta-ur-Rahman who is also the chairman of PM’s Task Force on coronavirus hoped that DRAP is expected to give approval of clinical trials of this vaccine within two weeks. The clinical trials will be conducted in our supervision soon after approval.
He said, “It takes three to four months to complete clinical trials of a vaccine and hopefully, if DRAP grants approval within two weeks, the clinical trials will be completed within next four months. If the results of these trials come positive, then the mass production of the vaccine can be started”.
Depending on the success results of this vaccine, it can be available in Pakistan between the months of December to March. As we are involved in all this process so we will get this vaccine by the company on preferential basis.
Listing some other measures taken to tackle the challenge of COVID-19 at government level, Dr Atta-ur-Rahman said a major programme titled `PROTECT’ has been initiated to conduct clinical trials of different internationally approved drugs including hydroxichloroquine, erthromycine in Pakistan.
This project of clinical trials of drugs, with the involvement of a dozen of institutions of the country including hospitals, research institutions and universities, will help check the effectiveness of these drugs on our own population.
This will also reveal that to what extent these drugs can effectively fight against the type of COVID exists in our country, he said.
The clinical trials on these drugs were already in progress in the 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.
Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman said the government was also taking strong measures to expand the testing facility.