National, Front Page

6m Pfizer doses coming in Aug

Published : 10 Jul 2021 09:33 PM | Updated : 11 Jul 2021 12:18 AM

Some 6 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 jab will arrive in Bangladesh in August, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said as the government keeps its vaccine collection continued to inoculate about 80 percent of the people.

Besides, he said on Saturday that 5 million Chinese Sinopharm vaccines would also arrive in Bangladesh by the first week of August under the purchase deal. He is also expecting to get another 1 million vaccine doses from the United States in August.

“We will have over 15 million vaccines in hand in the next one and a half months. The crisis that was feared initially has been dealt with successfully,” he told reporters after visiting the newly built field hospital for Covid-19 patients at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib University Convention Centre which is just opposite to the Hotel Intercontinental at Shahbagh.

“We have received a formal letter regarding the Pfizer vaccine,” he said as those doses would come under the COVAX mechanism, which is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organisation.

Bangladesh earlier received 100,000 Pfizer doses via COVAX.

Besides, the government collected vaccines from US’s Moderna and China’s Sinopharma after starting the nationwide drive in February using the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab bought from Serum Institute of India.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen earlier on Wednesday said that they were expecting to get 3.5 million more vaccines by July. He made this comment four days after receiving 4.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

“There would be no shortage of vaccine ahead,” he had said, adding that, “We have made a good line up. Now we are in a good position.”

The health minister on Saturday also assured that there would be no vaccine crisis.

Bangladesh intensified its vaccination efforts as the daily case positivity rate went up significantly. About 30 percent of the tested samples are becoming positive every day.

The government is enforcing a countrywide lockdown till July 14.