Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday proposed the third clinical phase trial of a vaccine being developed in Bangladesh saying New Delhi was looking forward for cooperation from Dhaka.
“We are ready to start Phase-III clinical trials of the vaccine in Bangladesh soon after we launch these trials in India,” read the transcript of remarks Jaishankar made in his welcome remark at the 6th Bangladesh-India Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) meeting held in a virtual platform with his Bangladesh counterpart Dr A K Abdul Momen.Indian High Commission in Dhaka made available BSS the abridged transcript while a senior Indian diplomat based in Bangladesh said Dhaka “agreed in principle” to the proposal.
The Indian external affairs minister also said .
“Bangladesh will be accorded high priority in all these efforts,” he said adding that collaboration to produce Covid-19 vaccines will be highly important, said the Indian Minister.
Emerging from the talks Bangladesh foreign minister Dr Momen earlier, however, said “we will collect the vaccine from where we can get it first”.
He said Dhaka has already communicated with all possible countries including China Russia Britain and European Union to access the potential Covid 19 vaccine as soon as it is ready to use to human body.
Momen said the meeting discussed about cooperation on access to potential COVID 19 vaccine while India side assured that Bangladesh would get priority in receiving any potential vaccine which it could develop.A Bangladesh foreign office statement elaborated the point saying both sides discussed collaboration in the health sector “especially in terms of supply, delivery, distribution and co-production of COVID-19 vaccine”.
“Hon’ble Foreign Minister of Bangladesh appreciated India’s assurance on prioritizing Bangladesh for supply of the potential vaccine in the future,” it read.
This was the sixth JCC meeting led by the two foreign ministers but first on the virtual media in view of the COVID-19 pandemic while the vaccine issue appeared to be a major issue of their talks.