May 8, 2021

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Letter to China to get vaccinated

The government is in contact with Russia as well as China to get the corona vaccine. Bangladesh has sent a letter of interest to Chinese Ambassador Li Jimming to buy the vaccine. The letter, sent by Health Minister Zahid Malek, said the two countries could enhance ties and co-operation in the field of vaccination.

People are waiting for the second dose of coronavirus vaccine. A few at rest after receiving the side vaccine. Yesterday at 10:30 am at Chittagong General Hospital
People are waiting for the second dose of coronavirus vaccine. A few at rest after receiving the side vaccine. Photo of Chittagong General Hospital at 10:30 am yesterday: Sourav Das
It was only after the uncertainty over the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India that the government began trying to get the vaccine from China. Earlier on Thursday, the foreign ministry agreed to join a forum initiated by China to build emergency stockpiles of ticks in South Asia. Later on Saturday, the health minister wrote a letter to the Chinese embassy expressing interest in getting vaccinated.

China showed interest in testing two vaccines invented in their country in September last year. A ticker wanted to give a gift of 5 lakh doses. But Bangladesh took a long time to decide on the Chinese vaccine test. Meanwhile, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine began to arrive from India. Not only bought, India also gave about 33 lakh doses as a gift to Bangladesh.

 

Discussions are underway to bring vaccines from the United States, Russia and China to Bangladesh after India recently stopped exporting vaccines to meet its own needs. Bangladesh has also sent a letter to Gavi, the international vaccine alliance, to get the vaccine. In a letter to Gavy CEO Seth Berkeley on Friday, Health Minister Zahid Malek formally expressed interest in financing the purchase of 100 million doses of the vaccine through Covax, an international vaccine collection and distribution initiative. In the letter, he said that Bangladesh is interested in buying vaccines beyond the free vaccines that Gavi will provide with the financial support of donors.

Another letter was sent to Kovacs on the same day from the Ministry of Health. It said that 109 million doses of vaccine had been allocated for Bangladesh under CoVAX, which was supposed to be delivered from March but was delayed. Hopefully, supply will start from May. However, Bangladesh did not get any confirmation. The letter highlighted the vaccination situation in the country and said that Bangladesh had given the first dose of vaccine to 57 lakh people. 19 lakh has been given the second dose. Now that the ticker is in stock, it can run out in 15 days. This will create a big challenge with the second dose. The letter requested Kovacs to provide at least 5 to 10 lakh vaccines to deal with the emergency crisis.

Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the health department, told Prothom Alo last night about the letter to Kovax: “Kovax wanted to know how many vaccines we would need. We have informed them of our demand accordingly, ”he said, adding that one lakh doses of Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine under Covax would arrive in the first week of May.

Chinese companies can vaccinate

The Ministry of Health has thanked the Chinese government for giving a gift of Rs 5 lakh in a ‘Non-Binding Letter of Intent’ to the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka. Besides, it has been said that some documents are required as per the rules of the Department of Drug Administration of the country.

Meanwhile, China Urban Construction Investment (Beijing) Medical Technology Company, a representative of China Synopharm, submitted a letter to the Ministry of Health on Wednesday. According to the Association of Owners of Private Clinics and Diagnostic Centers in Bangladesh (BPCDOA), it is learned that a large quantity of vaccines is needed in Bangladesh. They told BPCDOA that it is possible to supply 1.5 million synoform vaccines per week from China. They are able to provide a total of 3 crore 60 lakh to 4 crore 60 lakh vaccines.

“We reaffirm that we are ready to provide a large number of vaccines,” the letter said.

 

Chinese company wants permission

The two Chinese companies in Bangladesh that sought permission to test were Sinovac and Anui Gifei. The discussion started before last September. The matter was pending for some time. Progress was then made on joint testing with Synovac by the International Center for Diarrhea Research Bangladesh (ICDDRB). Last October, Synovac reported funding problems for the test. ICDDRB wants money for this. The test initiative was no longer implemented.

Anui Jifei Langcom Biopharmaceutical Company Limited of China proposed to set up a factory for testing, research and production of ticker. Their proposal fell into the trap of whether the government would allow it or not. In a letter to Bangladesh’s cabinet secretary on April 19, Anui Gifei said they had sought permission for the third phase of the test in Bangladesh in October last year. The necessary process was also fixed for this. However, the test did not. Now they want permission for emergency use instead of the third stage test.

The Department of Drug Administration responded the day after Anui Gifei’s letter. Their letter said they would have to state whether they were registered in seven countries. Note that Bangladesh can approve the implementation of any vaccine if it is approved in the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland and Japan. Because, Bangladesh accepts their standards.

Earlier, the Chinese embassy wanted to give 5 lakh vaccines to Bangladesh, but it took a long time to decide. According to the source, China’s condition in this case was that the vaccine be removed

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