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ISLAMABAD, MAR 6 (DNA) – The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan approved on Friday the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine for people above 60 years. The approval comes almost two months after the vaccine was approved for emergency use in the country.

Health workers who fall in that age group and are registered with the National Immunisation Management System can now receive the vaccine. Those who haven’t registered themselves can do so on https://nims.nadra.gov.pk/nims/.

Registration is also ongoing for anyone in the general population above 60 years of age. They can sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine on the NIMS website or by sending their CNIC number to 1166.

In early February, the national health ministry had released guidelines that said people above 60 years should not get the Sinopharm vaccine. Dr Faisal Sultan the prime minister’s aide on health had, however, said that the guidelines would be updated as new information becomes available.

Dr Sultan himself received the shot on February 22, urging other health workers to do the same. Pakistan formally launched the coronavirus vaccination drive on February 3. The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines was a gift from China and reached Islamabad on February 1.China has also promised to supply 500,000 additional Sinopharm vaccine doses free of cost, announced Foreign Minister on March 3.

Sinopharm’s vaccine, scientifically known as BBIBP-CorV, is an inactivated virus vaccine with an efficacy of 79.3%. It has been approved in at least 16 countries.=DNA