ISLAMABAD: Nausheen Hamid, Parliamentary Secretary, National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) recently said that over 10,000 people would be asked to volunteer to take part in COVID-19 vaccine trials in Pakistan, thus helping to speed up efforts to discover a safe and effective vaccine.
Talking to media, she urged the general public to take part in the third phase of a vaccine’s clinical trials at Shifa International Hospital in Islamabad.
She said getting 10,000 volunteers on board is a great start but we need many more people from many different backgrounds that we can call on for future studies.
The third phase vaccine trials are free of charge for any citizen living in the country, she added.
Hamid said that Pakistan has already started stage three clinical trials of a China-made vaccine for COVID-19 with the assistance of China and this vaccine will be administered to 8,000 to 10,000 volunteers across the country. The final results are expected to come out in about six months.
Hamid said the vaccine trial is a vital step for Pakistan because it will help build capacity to prepare vaccines against other viral diseases, adding that within a few days these clinical trials will further expand to other cities.
Replying to a question, she urged the nation to wear face masks in public to avoid a spike in coronavirus infections, saying there were concerns that the “onset of winter” could result in a second wave.
She said the number of active COVID-19 cases has been increasing in the country, and public cooperation is imperative to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The parliamentary secretary said that the administration would be left with no option but to seal more localities if violations of standard operating procedures (SOPs) devised to control the pandemic continue.
Answering another question, she said Pakistan is rapidly increasing its capacity to strengthen the health sector to cope with the coronavirus pandemic by setting up 150 new labs, manufacturing local ventilators, testing kits and protective kits.
Hamid said it is appreciable that now we are making our own personal protective equipment (PPE) in Pakistan, while also acknowledging all the assistance provided by the Chinese government since the outbreak of the virus.
-Courtesy by APP