Momen urges UK to provide 1.6m AstraZeneca vaccines

23 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh has urged the United Kingdom (UK) to urgently provide 1.6 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine so that the country can administer inoculation to the same number of citizens currently waiting for their second dose.

“I’m not asking for too much, I’m only asking for 1.6m Astra Zeneca doses that they have, they should immediately disperse those to Bangladesh so these people can have their second dose,” foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told British ITV News in an interview, reports BSS.

The foreign minister said Dhaka believes the UK government has the capacity to provide the vaccine while Bangladesh is a good friend of the UK and so many Bangladeshis contribute in the British economy.

“My message to UK Government is they should be more sincere. They should help their Commonwealth member states,” he said.

Dr Momen said India has failed to distribute the vaccine to Bangladesh that they promised, due to high surge of coronavirus there. “India is facing a very critical situation, very alarming… They are finding it difficult, we can understand it,” he said.

So far, Bangladesh received only seven million doses of vaccine out of the purchased 30 million doses from Serum Institute of India. Apart from that seven million doses, Dhaka also received 3.2 million doses as gift from New Delhi.

As India had imposed ban on vaccine export after the country got hard-hit by second wave of coronavirus, Bangladesh faced problem in administering the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to around 1.6 million people.

Bangladesh has been desperately looking for alternative sources, including the USA, Russia and China to have a stable supply of vaccine for its huge population.