Chinese cos working with Bangladeshi partners for vaccine production

Rezaul Karim

7 July, 2021 12:00 AM printer

In yet another breakthrough towards vaccine cooperation, China on Tuesday disclosed that the vaccine companies are intensely working with Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals for production of Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.

Diplomatic sources in Dhaka and Beijing confirmed that the vaccine production in Bangladesh would hopefully start in the next couple of months.

“Chinese vaccine Research and Development (R&D) companies are working with Bangladeshi partners for future vaccine co-producing in Bangladesh,” Hualong Yan, Deputy Ambassador of Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, said.

“We look forward eagerly to early co-production,” he told the Daily Sun.

Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi diplomat in Beijing told this correspondent that there will be a lot of vaccine related cooperation between Bangladesh and China in near future.

The diplomat confirmed the development towards early vaccine production in Bangladesh.

“Yes, there is a positive development towards co-production in Bangladesh. Bangladeshi manufacturers have to be given a time frame to start production of vaccine within 2 months,” he said, adding that the Bangladesh government will provide all necessary facilities so that the local companies can start production within the timeframe.

The diplomat further said that both the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products (BBIBP) and Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd are interested in producing vaccine with local partners in Bangladesh. Bangladesh's Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) has already approved emergency use China's “Sinopharm” COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products (BBIBP) and "CoronaVac", manufactured by Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd.

Earlier, both the Chinese vaccines received approval by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.

Bangladesh already received 31 lakh doses of Sinopharm vaccines, including 11 lakh as gift and 20 lakh under the commercial deal. As per the deal, Bangladesh will continue to receive vaccines from China for countrywide vaccination drive.

On July 1, the government began administering the Sinopharm shots at district-level hospitals and at 40 locations in the capital.

The government also decided to lower the age restriction from 40 years to 35 for coronavirus vaccine in order to make more people eligible. It also announced resumption of vaccine registration from Thursday for nationwide vaccination drive.

The Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy in his verified facebook post also said China has so far provided vaccines to nearly 100 countries, and will provide the first batch of 10 million doses of vaccines to COVAX.

Chinese vaccines are the first batch of vaccines obtained by many developing countries.

He said China has carried out joint research and development and cooperative production with many developing countries, and supported relevant companies to cooperate with foreign parties in conducting the phase III clinical trials.

Chinese vaccines, of which the safety and effectiveness widely recognised, have gained a good reputation in the international community, Hualong Yan added.

According to another report, China's biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech Ltd. will set up a national centre as part of the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre, boosting the vaccine R&D among BRICS nations. The company said it at an event in Beijing recently.

The China centre will team up with universities, research institutes, disease control agencies and companies to monitor epidemic changes and virus variation, advancing the vaccine research and its application, according to the company.

The cooperation on R&D development will not be limited to just BRICS nations. Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine is a joint effort made by scientists from countries, including Indonesia, Turkey and Chile.

By far, Sinovac has supplied over 540 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 40 countries and regions around the world, accounting for about one quarter of the total global supply, and nearly 400 million doses have been administered.