Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has requested his Indian counterpart Dr S Jaishankar to ensure the supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses to Bangladesh as soon as possible to meet Bangladesh’s needs.
He made the request during a conversation over phone with the Indian External Affairs Minister, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Bangladesh entered into a deal with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to purchase 30 million doses of a potential vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca for Covid-19.
Bangladesh was supposed to get five million doses of vaccine per month as the SII and Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharma signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for priority delivery of the vaccine doses.
Earlier, Bangladesh sought at least 3 million doses of vaccine under the agreement to address the immediate demand in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh has so far received only 7 million of Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses produced by Serum Institute through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift.
During the telephone conversation on Tuesday, Dr Jaishankar informed that he is aware of the demand for a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Bangladesh.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh has requested the United States to supply vaccines urgently since India could not supply vaccines to Bangladesh timely.Dr Jaishankar assured Dr Momen of requesting the US to give the vaccine to Bangladesh as the Bangladesh Foreign Minister raised the issue with his Indian counterpart.
Dr Momen conveyed condolences over the deaths in India due to Covid-19 and conveyed sympathy to the bereaved families.
Meanwhile, a total of 1014 Bangladeshi-American professional doctors, engineers, professors and others, led by Dr AFM Haque, have submitted a plea to the White House requesting the US Administration to send the vaccine to Bangladesh.
On the other hand, the US branch of Bangabandhu Foundation, Muktijoddha Council and Sheikh Rahman, Member of the Georgia State Senate also requested the White House to give vaccine doses to Bangladesh.
Expatriates Bangladeshis in the USA came to know that Bangladesh is not in the priority list of the US due to the low rate of infection and deaths in Bangladesh.