Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 28 April: The Bangladesh government on Wednesday decided to manufacture coronavirus vaccine by local companies with the help of Russian and Chinese technology, said finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
The decision was taken in a meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs, presided by the finance minister virtually.
Ministry of health proposed that the CCEA would allow local companies to manufacture Covid vaccines developed by Russia and China under the direct purchase.
Health minister Zahid Maleque who attended the meeting informed that Sputnik V vaccine was developed by Russia and Sinovac by China.
He said that local companies were capable of manufacturing the vaccines in their local plants.
He did not disclose the names of the companies.
It is reported that local companies, including Beximco, Incepta and Square, are willing to manufacture the coronavirus vaccine.
Mustafa Kamal said that they would know detail of fund requirement when the health ministry would come with a proposal to the cabinet committee on government purchases.
Officials said that the National Immunisation Technical Expert Group had advised the government to seek alternative sources for vaccine after the supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Indian manufacturer Serum Institute of India became uncertain.
Bangladesh has a deal with the Serum and its local vendor Beximco Pharma on buying three crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.
Bangladesh has also paid in advance for the Serum’s vaccine.
Bangladesh last received 20 lakh doses of the Serum vaccine in February and thus 70 lakh doses in total as the company did not supply a single dose after that.
India has reportedly put a temporary hold on all major exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum in a bid to meet the country’s local demand