May 17, 2021


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The solution is the vaccine

The ban on the export of corona vaccine to India created a crisis in Bangladesh with the vaccine. The master plan of the vaccination program was going to be ruined. To resolve the crisis, the import and emergency use of the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik-V has been approved. 4 million doses of vaccine are coming from Russia in May alone. In addition to buying Russian vaccines, the process of contracting vaccine production in the country by bringing their technology has also come a long way. China will give 6 lakh doses of vaccine as a gift. 1 lakh dose of Pfizer vaccine will come from Kovax. Apart from this, an attempt is being made to bring 2 million doses from the remaining ticker consignments of the agreement with the Seram Institute of India. The government is taking alternative measures instead of relying on one source to solve the crisis.


The crisis over the supply of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute has complicated the immunization activities in the country. In this context, Russia has approved the import and emergency use of vaccines yesterday. In this regard, the Director General of the Department of Drug Administration Major General Mahbubur Rahman told reporters, “On April 24, an application was made to the Department of Drug Administration for approval to use the vaccine.” It was approved in today’s (Tuesday) meeting. We approved the emergency use of this vaccine. Now it is not a barrier to import and use in Bangladesh.


The Department of Drug Administration on January 8 approved the import and immediate use of the Oxford-Astrageneca vaccine produced at the Serum Institute of India. The technical committee of the Department of Drug Administration held a meeting yesterday to decide on the vaccine. From that meeting, it was decided to approve the emergency implementation of the Russian vaccine. Sputnik-V is the second vaccine against coronavirus, which has been approved for use in Bangladesh. Earlier, the government had allowed the import of 1,000 doses of Sputnik-V vaccine for use by citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine working at the Rooppur nuclear power plant in Pabna. But it was not for the citizens of Bangladesh.

According to the Department of Drug Administration, 4 million doses of the vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh next month. Major General Mahbubur Rahman, director general of the department, said Bangladesh would receive the Russian vaccine by May. Initially 4 million doses of vaccine will come. All these will be officially brought to the country. There will be talks about importing vaccines officially (G2G). Then it will be imported. The government will determine the price of the vaccine after discussion. Mahbubur Rahman said in the briefing that Incepta, Popular and Healthcare Pharmaceuticals produce vaccines in Bangladesh. Of these, Incepta produces 14 types of vaccines. He also said that the possibility of producing Russian Sputnik-V vaccine in the country through these companies is being considered. Mahbubur Rahman said, “There is talk not only about the import of this vaccine from Russia, but also about its production in the country.” In the meantime, Incepta is also talking to Russia. There are more pharmaceuticals in the country producing vaccines. It is hoped that it will be possible to produce the vaccine in the country itself. Bangladesh has agreed to sign up for a new platform at the initiative of China to get the coronavirus vaccine in case of emergency. Apart from China and Bangladesh, the other four countries on the platform are ‘Emergency Vaccine Storage Facility for Cavid for South Asia’, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The government took alternative initiatives due to uncertainty over the timely receipt of 30 million dose vaccines from the Seram Institute of India. No vaccine has come from India in the last two months. As a result, the government does not have enough vaccines for the second dose of the first dose. According to the agreement, out of 30 million dose vaccines, Bangladesh has so far received 6 million doses in two batches. Ticker shipments have not arrived in March, nor has there been any hint of arrival in April. In the meantime, there has been uncertainty about the availability of vaccines from the Seram Institute in Bangladesh due to the suspension of raw material exports of vaccines from the United States, the rise in the number of people infected with cavities in India and the ban on vaccine exports.


Till yesterday, the stock of vaccines in Bangladesh was a little over 19 lakh. Now about 1 lakh doses of vaccine are being given every day. The first dose of the vaccine has been discontinued. If vaccination continues at this rate, the vaccine will run out in the next 18-20 days. Experts say Bangladesh is in crisis because it relies on one source of vaccines. In September last year, the National Technical Advisory Committee on Coronation advised the government to continue its efforts to communicate and collect vaccines from multiple sources without working for a single vaccine. The committee advised the government to deposit money in advance to get the vaccine quickly. But the government has just imported the Oxford vaccine. China’s Sinovac was interested in the trial in Bangladesh, but it did not happen due to indecision. The government has now begun work on buying vaccines from sources other than Oxford-AstraZeneca. In addition, 1 lakh doses of Pfizer-Bioentech vaccine will come to the country from the global enterprise Kovacs in May. The government has entered into an agreement with Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited, the country’s leading pharmaceutical company, to import 30 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Seram Institute of India. So far, Seram has vaccinated 8 million doses. According to the agreement, 23 million doses are still due. The Government of India has gifted 33 lakh doses of the same vaccine to the Government of Bangladesh. In other words, Bangladesh has so far received a total of 1 crore 3 lakh doses of vaccine. Beximco-Serum and government are in talks to bring the rest of the vaccine. Vaccines are being imported from Russia to continue the activities. The process of vaccination is also underway from China. Foreign  Secretary Masood bin Momen said vaccination efforts were under way from China, Russia and the United States. However, it will take two weeks for the vaccine to arrive at the end of the process. Before that, vaccines are not coming from anywhere in the country. Foreign Minister yesterday. He told reporters at AK Abdul Momen’s residence. Foreign Minister of Bangladesh at a meeting of foreign ministers of six countries on the initiative of China. AK Abdul Momen joined. The meeting was held virtually at 2 pm yesterday. It was also attended by the foreign ministers of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.