Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has issued directives for procurement of another three crore doses of the coronavirus disease inoculates as the nationwide first round vaccination campaign was underway and in case of unavailability of the jabs from outside, Bangladesh itself would produce the vaccines.
“I already asked our pharmaceutical companies which can do it (produce vaccines) to get prepared while we are seeing whether the vaccines are brought to the country …” she was addressing a press conference virtually from Ganabhaban marking the United Nation’s final recommendation for Bangladesh’s graduation to a developing country from LDC one.
Asked when she herself would receive the jab, Sheikh Hasina said she will certainly receive vaccine but before that she wanted to bring a certain number of people under the inoculation coverage.
Bangladesh received its first ever COVID-19 vaccine consignment on January 21 (Thursday) as India sent 20 lakh doses of vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca as gift. Bangladesh has so far gotten 70 lakh vaccine doses as part of a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on November 5 and a subsequent agreement on December 13 among Bangladesh Government, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Bangladesh earlier received 70 lakh vaccines meaning the country has so far collected 9 million vaccines. The agreement ensures availability of 30 million vaccine doses by June this year from the Serum Institute of India.
Bangladesh eventually is expected to get 68 million or 6.80 crore vaccines for 20 percent of its population or 3.40 crore people under Covax facility of World Health Organisation.