The first consignment of 1.2 million out of 2.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine gifted by Washington DC under the Covax framework arrived in Dhaka on Friday night.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malik received the vaccine from US Ambassador Earl Miller at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as a US Air Force cargo flight carrying the jabs reached the airport at 11:30 pm.
The second consignment of 1.3 million doses of Moderna vaccines is expected to reach on Saturday morning.
These 2.5 million vaccine doses are part of the US government’s recent allocation of 25 million vaccine doses for countries in Asia.
Both the foreign and health ministers are also planned to receive two consignments of 2 million Sinopharm vaccine doses, purchased from China by Bangladesh government commercially, those are scheduled to arrive here after midnight on Saturday.
Earlier, Bangladesh received 1.1 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China as gift on two occasions in May and June last.
A consignment of 12 lakh doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine has arrived in Dhaka tonight.
A flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the vaccine shots, landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 12:35am Saturday after taking off from Beijing International Airport at 8:45pm.
Maidul Islam, public relations officer at the health ministry, confirmed it to media.
Another consignment of eight lakh doses will reach Dhaka on Saturday morning, he added.
Bangladesh purchased the vaccine doses from the Chinese state owned company Sinopharm.
Earlier, Hualong Yan, the deputy chief of mission at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka, confirmed the news in a Facebook post.
On 12 June, the government signed a deal to procure the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine from China after the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved a proposal of procuring 1.5 crore doses in late May.
The vaccine consignments have been reaching here as good news for Bangladesh as Dhaka has been desperately looking for vaccines to inoculate a huge number of people.
On Thursday, the foreign minister expressed his optimism that the shortage of Covid-19 vaccine would be over soon as Dhaka is expecting steady supplies of vaccine from different sources.
The health minister in a video message the same day said the government will resume the regular vaccination drive after getting these 4.5 million doses of US and Chinese vaccines.
Dhaka had urged Washington DC to send 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine immediately after knowing that the US had 60 to 80 million AstraZeneca shots in stock.
Besides, the Bangladeshi diaspora community filed a petition to the White House, seeking vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, negotiation has been going on between Bangladesh and China and Russia to bring adequate vaccines here as soon as possible while the foreign minister earlier said the government is hopeful to make a formal announcement soon on the co-production of Covid-19 vaccine here.
The health ministry has been negotiating to purchase 15 million doses of Chinese vaccine and to import 5 million doses of Sputnik Covid-19 vaccine from Russia, according to the official sources.
On January 21, Bangladesh received its first-ever Covid-19 vaccine consignment as India sent 20 million doses of inoculates as a gift.
Bangladesh has so far received 12 million vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
On June 29, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) approved the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of Covid-19 Moderna vaccine in the country.
Bangladesh has so far approved eight Covid-19 vaccines to control the deadly disease.
The approved Covid-19 vaccines are from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, CoronaVac, Pfizer, Covishield, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm.