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Bangladesh receives 5m more vaccine doses from US, Canada, France

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 20 December, 2021 12:00 AM
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Bangladesh receives 5m more vaccine doses from US, Canada, France

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Bangladesh on Sunday received five million doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines from the United States, Canada and France for its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing immunization drive.

Of the five million vaccine doses, Canada contributed 2.2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh through the COVAX initiative.

“Canada’s commitment to ensuring everyone everywhere has access to these lifesaving vaccines is how we will end this pandemic, together” remarked Canadian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Benoit Préfontaine, adding “Through vaccine sharing, the relations between Canada - Bangladesh will further be strengthened.”

The US government on Sunday also donated 1.78 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh, also through the COVAX.  With this shipment, the American people have now donated a total of 18.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh. The new 1.78 million doses will help Bangladesh expand Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations for young people ages 12 and up, reaching all 64 districts across the country.

On the other hand, France has donated 1,197,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh under the Covax arrangement as a gesture of solidarity to the friendly country’s fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

An Emirates flight carried a consignment of 1,197600 doses of AstraZeneca doses to Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Sunday morning (Dec 19). This is in addition to a consignment of 2.06 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine France gave to Bangladesh on November 29, through the Covax facility.

“France has made the sharing of COVID-19 vaccine one of its priorities, in solidarity with the countries hit by the pandemic and in order to help accelerate vaccination coverage on a global scale,” said the Embassy of France in Dhaka on Sunday.

The United States has been supporting Bangladesh's national COVID-19 vaccination campaign.  This includes training nearly 7,000 healthcare professionals to safely administer vaccines, donating cold-chain freezer trucks, and providing freezers and other equipment for health facilities to properly store and transport COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

 “We are proud to donate another shipment of Pfizer vaccines and help Bangladesh keep the momentum in getting as many people vaccinated as possible, especially youth. The United States will continue to donate millions more doses of Pfizer vaccines and stand together with Bangladesh in its aim to vaccinate 40 percent of the country’s eligible population by the end of this year,” said US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl Miller.

The ongoing donations of Pfizer vaccines are part of the broader commitment by the United States to lead the global COVID-19 response by providing one billion doses of the Pfizer vaccine around the world—free of charge—through 2022. 

The US government has also contributed over $121 million in COVID-19-related assistance to Bangladesh. This assistance has saved lives through vaccination support; improved COVID-19 testing; infection and prevention control; treatment; and supply chain and logistics management systems. 

The United States has donated $4 billion to the worldwide COVAX effort, which includes support for ultra-cold chain storage, transportation, and safe handling of COVID-19 vaccines, making the United States the world’s largest donor for equitable global COVID-19 vaccine access, said a press release of the US Embassy on Sunday.