Administering of Chinese vaccine likely from May 25

Staff Correspondent

18 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government may start administering of the first dose of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine in the country from May 25.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said, “Decesion has been taken to start administering the vaccine (Sinopharm vaccine of China) from May 25/26. The front liners, who were on the priority list (of government’s vaccination programme) but didn’t get vaccine, will get the vaccine.”

The minister came up with the statement while briefing the newsmen at his secretariat office in the capital on Monday.

Currently, the government has a stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but these may run out in a week. So the government is making necessary effort to bring the vaccine immediately, the minister said.

“We have been trying to get the 2nd dose of the vaccine. We contacted the Indian High Commissioner and talked to the UK authorities in this regard. The Prime Minister is also trying so that we could get the 2nd dose of the vaccine. As per contract, we have got only 70 lakhs doses out of 3 crores. We are also worried about the 2nd dose of vaccine,” the minister said.

He said the government has taken some initiatives to bring more vaccines to run the national vaccination programme.

“We have talked to the US, China Russia and the UK and some progresses have been made,” he added.

The minister said despite discussion on vaccine coproduction in the country, the government will give priority to purchasing vaccines from different sources as vaccine production is a time-consuming process in the country.

“Regarding the companies, which have applied for vaccine production, the drug administration will send a report to us and thereafter the final decision will be taken after discussion with the prime minister,” he said.

The companies, which are capable, will need around five months to go for production, he said. The minister said, “We need to be more vigilant in the next few days. The government should try to prevent people from returning to Dhaka in the next few days after Eid. All borders with India must be closed until the situation in the neighboring country returns to normality.”

We will propose to keep the inter-district buses, launches and trains suspended until the corona situation returns to normality,” the minister also said.