Bangladesh entering Covid-19 vaccine production era

China’s friendly gesture to help produce vaccines locally deserves plaudits

Published : 15 Aug 2021 08:50 PM | Updated : 16 Aug 2021 07:44 PM

We express our heartfelt gratitude to China for standing by us in these testing times. It is encouraging to note that Bangladesh is set to sign a memorandum of understanding on the coproduction of China's Sinopharm vaccine with relevant parties. Reportedly, the government of Bangladesh, Sinopharm and a local company - Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd - would sign the agreement today. Indeed, China's friendly gesture to help Bangladesh in producing vaccines locally deserves plaudits. We also appreciate Bangladesh’s diplomatic efforts to persuade China to help the country (Bangladesh) produce vaccines in association with Sinopharm.

Media reports suggest Incepta would bring in the materials in bulk and bottling, labelling and finishing of the vaccine would be done locally keeping the price relatively cheap. We need to take necessary steps so that no diplomatic or bureaucratic tangle appears to disrupt vaccine production in collaboration with China's Sinopharm.

The government should start gearing up its 

efforts to lay a solid foundation for the production

and administration of vaccines

Since Covid-19 is not going away anytime soon, there is no alternative to producing the vaccines locally. Cuba, Iran and Kazakhstan, are using vaccines manufactured locally in cooperation with China. Following them, Bangladesh should devise necessary measures to produce Covid-19 vaccine locally. Also, the government should allocate more funds in the research and production of Covid-19 vaccines.

We should not depend on foreign sources for Covid-19 vaccines in the long term. Besides, there are complex diplomatic issues and politics which are well associated with vaccine procurement. Hence, if we want to inoculate all eligible citizens of Bangladesh within the next one or two years, we have to produce vaccines locally. Therefore, the government should start gearing up its efforts to lay a solid foundation for the production and administration of vaccines.