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UHS, PITB Ink Pact Regarding Follow-up Stage of Phase III Trial of Chinese COVID Vaccine

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LAHORE– Vice-Chancellor University of Health Sciences (UHS) Professor Javed Akram has said that complete eradication of corona cannot be achieved unless 75 per cent of the population is vaccinated.

“Our target in Pakistan should be to vaccinate 15 to 20 million people,” he said adding that the developed countries should provide vaccines to poor and developing nations on a priority basis.

He was addressing the signing ceremony of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between UHS and Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) on Thursday regarding the follow-up stage of Phase III trial of Chinese COVID- 19 vaccine. Professor Javed Akram said that five billion people would have to be vaccinated for the complete eradication of the epidemic all over the world. He said that it was a historic occasion that corona vaccine was being tested on humans in Pakistan.

“This trial has proved that there can be world-class research in Pakistan”. He added that a total of 18,000 people had volunteered for the Phase III trial of the Chinese vaccine “Can Sino”. Among them more than 5,000 volunteers registered at the university.

Professor Javed Akram said that vaccine research usually took around 9 years to complete but given its urgent need, for the first time in history, the research period was shortened and completed within 5 months. He claimed that the results of this research exceeded his expectations.

“The trial has been good and no major side effects have been reported so far”, he stated.

He further said that the research had now entered the follow-up stage for which an agreement was being signed with PITB. The PITB would be in constant touch with volunteers who had been vaccinated through its call centre, he informed.

Professor Javed Akram said that it would take another eight or nine months to complete the research. Answering a question, the veteran physician said that in the coming years, people would die of more diseases than wars. People now need to be “protected from viruses, not missiles”. He added that the importance of human lives had increased during the epidemic.

Later, the agreement was signed by Professor Javed Akram and Director-General e-Governance of Punjab Information Technology Board Sajjad Latif. Vaccine trial focal person Dr Shehnoor Azhar, Prof. Sidrah Saleem, Prof. Fatima Mukhtar and Chinese experts on vaccine trial also attended the event. On this occasion, a cake was also cut to celebrate the completion of the first stage of the trial.— PRESS RELEASE