Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 29 April: Bangladesh on Thursday approved the emergency use of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese firm Sinopharm. Directorate General of Drug Administration director general Major General Mahbubur Rahman made the announcement at a press conference at his office on Thursday.
‘We have reviewed the issues including the trial reports and approved the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use,’ he said.
He said about 5 lakh doses of the vaccine would arrive Bangladesh in two weeks.
The vaccine would be procured on G2G basis, he added.
Mahbubur said that the health department would vaccinate 1,000 people in the beginning for observation.
‘We will start mass vaccination after the observation period,’ he said.
The second dose will be administered after 28 days of the first dose of this vaccine.
He also noted that the government-level talks were going on about the manufacturing of the Sinopharm vaccine in the country.
Bangladesh on Tuesday approved the Russian vaccine Sputnik V for emergency use a day after it suspended the first-dose mass Covid vaccination as India stopped supplying the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in breach of a contract.
Serum Institute of India broke a purchase deal with Bangladesh and stopped the supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, manufactured by the company.
Sputnik V is the second vaccine Bangladesh has so far approved after AstraZeneca in January.
Amid the uncertainty over the supply of vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, the government on April 20 formed the committee to give recommendations to the prime minister’s office by Monday on alternatives to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine so that the mass Covid vaccination programme could be continued.
The committee on Monday suggested Sputnik V and the vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinopharm.
Bangladesh has a deal with the Serum India and its local vendor Beximco Pharma on buying three crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine the Serum produces.
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.