Pakistan allows Russian vaccine for commercial sale

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A Pakistani lab will soon receive Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine for commercial sale, a company official said on Sunday, making Pakistan one of the first countries to market shots privately as it scrambles to secure supplies.

Despite concerns over fairness and higher prices, Islamabad agreed this week to allow the commercial import and sale of vaccines without price caps, in contrast to most countries, which are importing and administering vaccines through government channels.

“We are told the first shipment is expected within the next week,” Chughtai Lab director Omar Chughtai told Reuters, adding it would be receiving several thousand doses.

Pakistan’s decision to allow private sales of vaccine without a price cap in a lower-income country of 220 million people has faced criticism.

“We are told the first shipment is expected within the next week,” Chughtai Lab director Omar Chughtai said, adding it would be receiving several thousand doses. He also confirmed the news on Twitter.