BlogPakistan failed to make Covid vaccine due to lack of technical capability

Pakistan failed to make Covid vaccine due to lack of technical capability

After the exemption granted by the World Trade Organization, which eases restrictions on the use of intellectual property on mRNA vaccines, Pakistan looks excited and ready to develop the corona vaccine locally using this advanced technology but fails to take advantage of this golden opportunity due to lack of technical capability.

According to the report, this exemption gives Pakistan an opportunity to develop vaccines locally using mRNA technology.

mRNA technology refers to vaccines that use the transcription of a molecule called messenger RNA to generate an immune response against a disease.

University of Health Sciences (UHS) Vice-Chancellor Dr. Javed Akram says that a major obstacle here is that Pakistan does not have a biotechnology plant to produce quality vaccines.

A senior official of the Ministry of National Health said on condition of anonymity that the waiver of unauthorized use of intellectual property rights under the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) provided a golden opportunity for Pakistan.

The TRIPS waiver was proposed by India and South Africa in October 2020.

The proposal seeks to temporarily lift such restrictions to speed up vaccine production and ease access to life-saving drugs during the coronavirus pandemic.

NIH was among 15 institutions from several countries being trained to develop mRNA vaccines by South African firm Afrigen Biologics, and more are expected to take advantage of the facility, a national health official said. Maximum efforts are being made to avail this facility

In this regard, we have also sent a 3-member team to South Korea’s International Vaccine Institute (IVI) for training, confirmed the official of the National Institute of Health.

NIH official said the institute has several machines used to develop vaccines to combat rabies, measles and cholera.

He said that about 6 studies have been completed at NIH and now we are considering developing a vaccine under public-private partnership, but first policy approval is required.

Dr. Akram said that currently Pfizer R-Moderna vaccine is the only mRNA vaccine used in Pakistan.

He expressed concerns about Pakistan’s ability to take advantage of the exemption, saying Islamabad did not have a single biotech plant to produce such a vaccine.

Health Services Academy Vice Chancellor Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan while talking to media said that this is the latest technology in which genetic material is artificially produced and inserted into the human body to reduce the chances of infection.

He further said that mRNA vaccines are beneficial against many diseases and I hope that other diseases including HIV will be controlled by this vaccine in the future.

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