Pakistan's President Arif Alvi on March 29 tested positive for COVID-19, days after taking the first dose of vaccine against coronavirus.
An update issued on the official social media handle of the president confirmed that he has contracted the contagious disease.
"I have tested positive for COVID-19. May Allah have mercy on all COVID affectees. Had 1st dose of vaccine but antibodies start developing after 2nd dose that was due in a week. Please continue to be careful. (sic)," the tweet read.
Alvi was vaccinated on March 15, followed by Prime Minister Imran Khan who took the jab on March 19.
Both the leaders were given China's Sinopharm vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use by Pakistan's health regulator.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Khan tested positive for COVID-19 on March 20, a day after receiving the first vaccine dose.
Questions have since been raised about the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine.
The Pakistani government has attempted to dispel the "rumours", claiming that those administered with both doses of the vaccine will largely attain immunity against coronavirus.
"It is given in two doses and takes a few weeks to become effective. In most cases it is 100 percent effective and in remaining, severity of infection is greatly reduced which increases survival rate. Beware of those who create doubt," Alvi had tweeted on March 21.
The vaccine's manufacturer - Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group (CNBG) - has claimed that it is 79 percent effective in preventing the coronavirus infection. The trials conducted in Turkey, Indonesia, and Brazil have reported efficacy rates ranging from 50 percent to 91 percent.