Adequate vaccines in hand

10 million more in pipeline

Bangladesh now has over 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine in stock as the crisis that was feared initially has been dealt with “successfully”.

Another 10 million doses are expected to arrive by August as the government has expedited its nationwide inoculation drive diversifying the sources of vaccine collection.

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque received the consignment of 3 million doses of Moderna vaccines at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Monday night.

Dr. Mowla Baksh Chaudhury, programme manager of the government’s EPI that oversees countrywide vaccination, told Bangladesh Post that they now have 4.7 million doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccines, around 50,000 doses of Pfizer, and 5.3 million doses of Mederna vaccines in stock.

“We are expecting Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines next month via COVAX,” he said as the government got assurance of getting 6 million doses of Pfizer vaccine and about 3.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine via COVAX.

The development follows the initial crisis of securing doses from Serum Institute of India which helped Bangladesh to start the inoculation in early February. But the supply was stopped due to the internal crisis in India.

“We have dealt with the crisis which was feared initially successfully,” the health minister said.

The foreign minister also assured that there would be no vaccine crisis of vaccines in future.

He said they are in talks with Russia and China for vaccine co-production.

“Things are at the final stage,” he said on Russian Sputnik V.

He said he discussed the vaccine issue with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in Tashkent and got the assurance that they would send the promised doses once the situation improved.

Earlier on Sunday night, the government received 2 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from Beijing under the commercial purchase deal.

The Moderna doses are part of US President Joe Biden's promise to share doses of US vaccines with other countries around the world, via COVAX or directly.

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.

However, the countrywide lockdown which was enforced for 14 days was relaxed due to Eid-ul-Adha festival. The lockdown will resume on July 23.