The first dose of the Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine will be administered from 25 May in Bangladesh.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque disclosed in a briefing at his ministry today.
He said, “We have talked with Russia, China, UK and USA for the vaccine and got a positive response from some talks.”
“We also talked with India and UK for doses to complete the second doses of those got first dose of Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine. Though orders for three crore doses was placed, we got only 70 lakh from India so far.”
On 12 May, a consignment of five lakh doses of Sinopharm vaccine, gifted by the government of China, reached Dhaka.
On the same day, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Spokesperson Nazmul Islam said that the doses will be given to the medical and nursing students, along with medical technologists, who work in direct contact with Covid-19 patients.
Bangladesh saw an impressive start of its countrywide vaccination programme on 7 February with the Oxford-AstraZeneca doses, targeting people aged 40 and above. The country immunised more than 1% of its population in just 12 days and stood second in South Asia vaccination.
On 24 February, Bangladesh ranked 24th globally – still second in South Asia.
The second dose vaccination started on 8 April and roughly 13% of those who had received the first dose completed their second round by 13 April.
But as the supply of the Oxford vaccines from the Indian Serum Institute became uncertain with rapid infection surge in that country, Bangladesh’s immunisation programme hit a snag.