Bangladesh likely to get AstraZeneca vaccine next month

Staff Correspondent

25 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh is likely to get Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine under COVAX facility next month.

“We have sought the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX authority in its next consignment. We hope we will get the vaccine in the coming month,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun on Thursday.

“We need around 20 lakh more Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to ensure the second dose for all the vaccine recipients who received the first dose of the same vaccine.

We have sought the amount of vaccine from the COVAX authority,” he added.

The DGHS chief further said they also sought several vaccines, including Sputnic V Covid-19 vaccine of Russia and Janssen Covid-19 vaccine developed by a Belgian drug manufacturer.

Bangladesh received seven million Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift.

According to the DGHS, if it gets 20 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, then they can complete the second dose of the vaccination as there is a shortage of 17-18 lakh vaccines to complete the vaccination with the same vaccine.

Administering the first dose of the Covishield vaccine stopped on April 26 due to vaccine shortage. The DGHS data said 58,20,015 people have received the first dose.

The nationwide vaccination started with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from February 7.

The health ministry sources said the government has sent letter to buy around six crore doses of Janssen vaccine under the COVAX facility.

The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) on June 15 gave emergency use authorisation to Janssen Covid-19 vaccine developed by a Belgian drug manufacturer.

“We are sending letters asking for several Covid-19 vaccines from different countries to buy but unfortunately we are not getting response as per our expectation,” ABM Khurhsid Alam said.