Asia - Pacific

Bangladesh OKs local production of Chinese, Russian vaccines

Country to locally produce Sinopharm, Sputnik V vaccines in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, says minister

Md. Kamruzzaman   | 29.04.2021
Bangladesh OKs local production of Chinese, Russian vaccines

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Wednesday approved the production of Chinese and Russian coronavirus vaccines locally, according to official sources. 

In the wake of growing uncertainty over an ongoing vaccination campaign in the country due to India’s postponement of agreed vaccine shipments, Dhaka signed a deal with Moscow last week approving the local manufacture of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine on a co-production basis.

The country’s high officials also vowed to secure vaccines from all possible sources to meet its needs, and in light of the decision, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a proposal on locally producing China’s Sinopharm vaccine.

“As we are not getting an agreed amount of Indian vaccines timely, we have approved local manufacturing of Chinese and Russian vaccines,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal told the media after the meeting.

He added that the local companies that will collaborate with the Chinese and Russian pharmaceutical companies will begin co-production of the vaccines as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, the Bangladeshi government will continue to pursue the procurement of vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII), he added.

Additional Secretary of the Cabinet Division Sahida Akter told the media that the cost of the vaccine production can be known after the proposal is placed before the purchase committee.

The South Asian country managed to obtain 10.2 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from SII, where it is manufactured as Covishield.

Bangladesh signed a deal with India on Dec. 13 to purchase 30 million doses of the Covishield vaccine on an installment basis.

But until now, Dhaka has only received 7 million doses in two installments while New Delhi has sent 3.2 million doses as a gift. India said it would not be exporting the vaccine in the next two months due to a domestic shortage.

With 2,995 new COVID-19 cases and 77 related deaths, the country’s overall caseload has reached 754,614, including 11,305 fatalities.

Bangladesh began its vaccination drive in February. More than 5.8 million people have received their first dose, while nearly 2.7 million have been fully vaccinated.

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