Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has expressed his optimism about getting the first consignment of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine in June as Dhaka has almost completed the process of purchasing 1.5 crore doses of Sinopharm vaccines from China.
“The deal in this regard is almost final. It will be completed soon,” he told reporters following a meeting with the visiting UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir at the Foreign Service Academy in Dhaka Tuesday.
The foreign minister said his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi assured him of a “stable supply” of the Chinese vaccine.
“He [Chinese foreign minister] told me China considers Bangladesh as a friend and is ready to provide as many shots as we need,” Momen said, referring his recent telephone conversation with Wang Yi.
The foreign minister said Dhaka has placed its orders for June, July and August as Sinopharm produces the shits after getting the orders.
Dr Momen said talks on purchasing the Russian vaccine are also at the final stage.
“Our discussion over buying the vaccine from Russia has been already made,” he said, adding that currently negotiation between Dhaka and Moscow is going on over modalities of the agreement for Russian Sputnik vaccine purchase.
But the foreign minister did not disclose the exact number of doses that Bangladesh is going to buy from Russia.
During the telephone conversation with Momen on Friday, Wang Yi, who is also the State Councilor of China, also announced that China has decided to provide 6 lakh more Covid-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh as the second batch of “vaccine gift”.
During the conversation, Momen requested China to take initiative for Chinese vaccine co-production in Bangladesh.
In reply, the Chinese foreign minister assured that he would encourage Chinese vaccine producers to go for co-production with Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies.
On May 12, China handed over the first batch of 5 lakh doses of its Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh as “a gift” while Dhaka is making its efforts globally to get access to enough shots.