Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Saturday COVID-19 vaccine supply remains steady and there would not be further difficulty in getting adequate jabs as different ministries have put coordinated efforts under the direction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“We all are working in a coordinated way at the directives and suggestions of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina … therefore, we have tackled different COVID related hurdles in a successful way,” he said.
Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito handed over the Japan-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccines to Dr Momen at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) after a freight of ANA carrying the jabs landed here around 3 pm.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Senior Secretary of Health Service Division Lokman Hossain Miah were also present at the airport.
Expressing gratitude to the Japanese government for the supply, he said Tokyo will send over three million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines in phases.
“They've proved that they're real friends of all Bangladeshis," he said, expressing hope that Japan would provide more and more jabs even after sending the promised three millions AstraZeneca vaccines.
Recalling his recent telephone conversation with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, Momen said he urged his Japanese counterpart to send AstraZeneca vaccines to Bangladesh as 1.5 million people here are waiting for the second dose of such inoculation.
Momen lauded the health ministry for its competency and efficiency in managing the vaccination programme nationwide as they planned to vaccinate 10 million people within a week.
The foreign minister anticipated that 40 percent of the country’s people would be vaccinated within months while the government has a target to inoculate 80 percent of the total population.
On July 24, Bangladesh received 245,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines as the first consignment from Japan under the COVAX facilities.
Japan will send the third consignment of these 30.5 lakhs doses of AstraZeneca jabs to Bangladesh on August 3.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh mission in Tokyo confirmed that the third consignment will be consisted with 616,780 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, totaling approximately 1.4 million Japanese jabs here.
Bangladesh has so far received 1.2 crore doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII).