Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 16 August : The Bangladesh government has signed a tripartite agreement with China’s Sinopharm and local drug manufacturer Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd on coproduction of Covid-19 jabs.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Health Minister Zahid Maleque, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming, and Incepta Chairman Abdul Muktadir.
Incepta would bring in the material in bulk and bottling, labelling, and finishing of the vaccine would be done locally making the price relatively very cheap.
According to the agreement, the local pharmaceuticals company will soon start producing the Covid-19 vaccine as Bangladesh aims to inoculate a large portion of the population in the coming days.
Experts say that the Sinopharm vaccine is relatively easier to store compared to the other Covid-19 jabs and this will benefit the government’s distribution efforts to remote areas of the country.
Earlier on Friday, more one million Sinopharm vaccine doses arrived in Bangladesh from China.
This was the third shipment of Sinopharm vaccine doses that China has sent to Bangladesh as a gift.
The previous Sinopharm shipments that China sent to Bangladesh as a gift was on 500,000 doses, which arrived on May 12, and 600,000, which arrived on May 21.
Bangladesh government has also paid China for 15 million doses of the vaccine, of which seven million doses have already been delivered to Bangladesh.
On August 11, the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement approved a proposal regarding the purchase of 60 million doses of Covid vaccine from Sinopharm.
Bangladesh also received 1.1 million doses of the same vaccine under the Covax facility.
The country is currently administering vaccines developed by four companies — AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Sinopharm.