Sinopharm vaccination begins

The nationwide corona vaccination campaign, which stalled due to a lack of vaccine supply in April, is going to resume on Saturday.

For now, those who have already registered will be inoculated with the Sinopharm doses gifted by China.

The vaccine will be given at all government medical college hospitals, government general hospitals, district headquarters hospitals and 250-bed hospitals in the country.

The information was revealed in a letter signed by Dr Mohammad Shamsul Haque, line director and member secretary of the health department, Covid Vaccine Management Committee, on Thursday.

Earlier on Monday, Director General Dr ABM Khurshid Alam of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said: “People who have already registered for Covid-19 vaccines will receive the vaccines, and they will receive texts from the health authorities informing them when to get vaccinated.”

Bangladesh started its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program on February 7 by administering Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The country has so far received seven million Covishield doses through its contract. Besides, India gave Bangladesh 3.3 million doses as a gift.

However, on April 25, the government suspended administering the first doses with Covishield, just a day after India said no more vaccine doses would be shipped to Bangladesh anytime soon as the Covid-19 situation worsened there.

As the SII has been unable to provide the number of doses they promised, many people are waiting for second jabs after receiving their first.

As the country reached out to several allies for Covid-19 vaccines, The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) approved emergency use of US’s Pfizer-BioNtech, China’s Sinopharm, and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines.

On May 12, China sent 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh as a gift.

The health authorities administered the Sinopharm vaccine to 500 medical college students on May 25.

The Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) administered the Sinopharm vaccine to over 450 Chinese citizens as well.

On May 31, the country also received 100,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine under the Covax facility run by the World Health Organization and Gavi, the vaccine alliance.

On Sunday, Bangladesh received another 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China, also as a gift.

To tackle the vaccine shortage, Bangladesh also sought two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the US, once the latter announced on April 26 that it would share the vaccine with the world.

Bangladesh will receive over a million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Covax soon.


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