There is good news for Pakistan as its ally and neighbour China has decided to allow Pakistan start the production of Covid-19 vaccine PakVac with its assistance. Reportedly, China shared the formula of its CanSino vaccine with Pakistan so that it would be able to replicate the same for its citizens. ‘PakVac like Sputnik-V or CanSino is a single shot vaccine,” informed Dr Faisal Sultan, special assistant to the Prime Minister Imran Khan Niazi in the presence of Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong in Islamabad. He further went on to say that Pakistan received the vaccine as a gift from China. It is estimated that Pakistan will be producing three million doses per month apart from the 13 million doses it already purchased from China.
China, which boasts of the largest army in the world, has recently shown keen interest in science, space and technology. It has even ramped up its recruitment of scientists in its military. China has also effectively shown the world its preparedness to handle any such calamity within the nation. Notably, China is among the few nations who rather showcased growth in economy despite the pandemic. Its single shot vaccines also have been approved by the WHO and enjoy an excellent efficacy rate. China over the years has established itself as a digital giant and now is well on its way to pursue medical excellence. Pakistan, on the other hand, a long-time ally of China, has been able to vaccinate just over 2.5 million people and has approximately eight lakh confirmed cases with over eighteen thousand deaths till date. Islamabad recently informed that the target of 70 million jabs by the end of 2021 would be made possible with the vaccines being indigenously produced within the nation.
Earlier in April, Pakistan stated that it would soon collaborate with China for manufacturing the Covid-19 vaccine indigenously so that the vaccine issue of the country is solved. Maj Gen Aamer Ikram, head of, National Institute of Health had informed that CanSino Bio vaccine would be locally manufactured after China agreed to transfer the technology for the vaccine. The raw material of the vaccine also arrived in Pakistan by April-end. In Asia, it was India who had shown greater prospect in becoming the vaccine hub of the world. But with the country reeling under its own vaccine crisis and second wave of the pandemic, it seems that China is finally taking over the vaccine exports. With this, the vaccine diplomacy strategy used by India in the beginning of 2021 to have an edge over its bitter rival China has completely backfired for India. China now gradually is exporting to more countries and even making arrangements such as in Pakistan to help out smaller Asian nations and counter India’s diplomacy over the region. As for India it still has not opened a dialogue with SII or Bharat Biotech to either increase their vaccine production capacity or transfer the details to replicate the vaccine by other indigenous pharmaceutical companies.