Govt now approves use of Sinopharm vaccine

Staff Correspondent

30 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has now given the emergency use authorisation to Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.

“We’ve given the emergency use authorisation to the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm of China,” Maj Gen Md Mahbubur Rahman, director general of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), said on Thursday.

He came up with the information while addressing a press briefing at his office.

“This vaccine will be purchased officially by the government. China has also given 5 lakh doses as a gift. These shots will arrive in Bangladesh within two weeks,” the DGDA chief said.

Mentioning that the third-phase trial of the vaccine has been carried out on 55,000 people in five countries, he said another trial will be held on 1,000 people here after its arrival. “We’ll see safety and efficacy of Sinopharm vaccine and then it’ll be used in mass inoculation programme.”

The 2nd dose of the jab will be administered after 28 days of the first dose, Mahbubur said.

He also noted that the government-level talks are going on about the manufacture of Sinopharm vaccine in Bangladesh.

The DGHS chief said Incepta Pharmaceuticals has initially talked to the Chinese company about producing the vaccine in the country.

Earlier on April 27, Bangladesh approved the emergency use of Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

With this, Bangladesh has so far approved the use of three vaccines.

On January 8 last, the authorities approved the use of Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The government started the Covid-19 vaccination programme with Covishield vaccine on February 7.

The government is likely to import 40 lakh doses of the Sputnik V vaccine within May.

Following uncertainty about getting the vaccine from the SII, the government on April 20 formed a committee to make recommendations to the Prime Minister's Office by April 26 for alternatives to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for continuing the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The committee suggested that Chinese Sinopharm and Russian Sputnik V vaccines can be used as alternatives.