Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said Bangladesh is at the final stage to procure vaccine doses from China.
“It’s at the final stage…all types of discussions are very positive,” he told reporters at Foreign Service Academy when asked about procuring 1.5 crore vaccine doses from China.The government is in discussion to procure 1 crore to 1.5 crore doses of vaccine from China with an initial consignment of 50 lakh doses.
Dr Momen said China assured Bangladesh of providing vaccine jabs ensuring its steady flow of supply.
China said it will continue to support Bangladesh's fight against Covid-19 and is willing to facilitate the discussion of cooperation in "vaccine filling" between Chinese and Bangladeshi companies.
China also said as a "good neighbour, partner and friend" of South Asian countries, they are ready to stand with the people of all countries, including Bangladesh, until the pandemic is defeated.
"South Asia is currently facing the severe challenges of a new round of pandemic," said State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi when he had a phone conversation with Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday evening.
After its request to the United States, Bangladesh also urged the United Kingdom (UK) to help it by providing vaccines to meet emergency needs as the second dose vaccination is disrupted in Bangladesh.Bangladesh sought 1.6m AstraZeneca doses from the UK.
The Foreign Minister said the government had been able to handle the first wave of the Covid-19 very successfully.
All the three documents – on non-disclosure, letter of commitment and sales agreement – "smoothened out", he said.
Bangladesh has also approved “Emergency Use Authorisation” for another Chinese vaccine of Sinovac. A Chinese team will visit Bangladesh in a week or so to see the feasibility of vaccine co-production.
The Foreign Minister said the discussion with Russia is also at the final stage. "We’ll also get vaccine doses from the COVAX facility. So, we think there won’t be a problem with vaccine supply in the coming days," he said.
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.
Bangladesh has so far received only 7 million of Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses produced by Serum through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift.