According to a top Bangladeshi official, the country has inked a COVID-19 vaccine co-production agreement with Russia in an effort to maintain its immunisation drive.
Because India suspended the only remaining source of vaccines in Bangladesh despite a trilateral agreement, the South Asian country is putting forth significant effort to find additional vaccine sources. The country’s mass immunisation programme, which began in February, has been severely hampered as a result.
Earlier this month, Russia and Bangladesh struck a deal to co-produce the Sputnik V vaccine developed by the Russian government in Bangladesh. AK Abdul Momen, Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, told the media in Dhaka that the country will purchase vaccines from Russia on a commercial basis in addition to participating in co-production.
Because Russia will not be able to cover the entire demand for vaccines in Bangladesh, the two countries reached an agreement on the concept of co-production. However, there is a stipulation that Bangladesh would not share the vaccine production recipe with anyone else, which we agreed to,” he continued.
The agreement was signed on behalf of their respective governments by the health ministers of both countries’ respective governments. The vaccine developed in accordance with the agreement can be exported to any third-party country in the world. He went on to say that Bangladesh has already presented Russia with a list of companies that are capable of producing vaccines in the country.
Bangladesh has also decided to participate in a new platform for the development of an emergency coronavirus vaccine, which was established by China. India, on the other hand, was barred from participating in the project.
“The vaccination will be provided by China. We are currently engaged in official negotiations with China in order to obtain vaccines from them, and they have also pledged to give a vaccine in the near future. The Chinese government would provide 600,000 doses of vaccines as a gift in the beginning, according to Momen.
Meanwhile, the government is striving to ensure that the remaining dosages from India are delivered on time in accordance with the tripartite arrangement, he said.
With the help of the Serum Institute of India, Bangladesh has inked a three-year agreement to purchase 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid vaccine at a rate of 5 million doses per month from January to June of this year. India, on the other hand, provided Dhaka with 3 million pills as a gift.
However, as of April, India had only received 7 million doses of the covid vaccine, and the country announced that it will not be selling the vaccine for the next two months owing to a domestic shortage.
Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka Vikram Doraiswami told the media on Thursday that his country is giving proper attention to Bangladesh and is attempting to meet the country’s vaccine demand under the terms of a bilateral vaccine supply and demand agreement.
“The entire globe is running out of COVID-19 vaccines, and we are all working together to increase the availability and supply of vaccines,” he continued, adding that
As of Thursday, around 5.8 million people in Bangladesh had got the first dosage of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with another 1.9 million receiving a second dose.
According to the Bangladesh Health Ministry, COVID-19 has killed at least 10,781 people and infected a total of 736,074 others in the country.