Islamabad: The Pakistan government has approved Russias Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine for “emergency use authorisation” (EUA) and also gave a go-ahead to a local pharmaceutical company for its import and distribution, an informed official has confirmed.Also Read - India Supplying COVID-19 Vaccines to Neighbours, Other Countries But No Request From Pakistan

The Sputnik V has become the third vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the country — the first one being the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and the second one by Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm. Also Read - Sputnik V and AstraZeneca Collaboration Beneficial For India

“In a meeting conducted by the registration board of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), another vaccine has also been given EUA which was developed with the backing of Russian Develop­ment Investment Fund,” Dawn news reported on Sunday citing the official as saying. Also Read - Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 Vaccine Can Be Highly Effective Against New Coronavirus Strain in UK?

“Russia’s state-owned Sputnik-V has developed a double-dose vaccine, which is administered by syringes,” said the official.

A local pharmaceutical AGP, he said, had been authorised as the sole importer and distributor of the Russian vaccine.

The development comes as Pakistan’s overall coronavirus caseload has increased to 532,412 as of Sunday, while the death toll stood at 11,295.