Home / Health / Bangladesh plans to produce Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

Bangladesh plans to produce Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

The government has plans to produce the coronavirus vaccine, developed by the UK’s University of Oxford and Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca, in Bangladesh.
The local pharmaceutical companies will make the vaccine in their factories if they get the raw materials.
The government wrote to Oxford-AstraZeneca last week, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque. It also sought help from the World Health Organization, reports bdnews24.com.
The private sector is contacting other organisations for the production of the vaccine as well.
Bangladesh rolled out the vaccine, manufactured by the world’s largest vaccine producer the Serum Institute of India, on Feb 7.
As many as 5.4 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine as of Saturday, while more than 6.8 million people registered for immunisation in the mass inoculation drive.
The government is now set to introduce the second doses on Apr 8. But India has put a halt on export of the vaccine in order to strengthen its own vaccination drive, putting Bangladesh’s plans to give more people their first shots into uncertainty.
Some local pharmaceutical companies are capable of producing the vaccine, the health minister told bdnews24.com.
“The government wants to tap the potential and produce the coronavirus vaccine at home.”
The pharmaceutical companies have asked the government to initiate the process by approaching the bulk or seed vaccine-producing company, said Maleque.
“We already wrote to AstraZeneca to give us the raw materials. We told them that we have vaccine-making facilities and can use them. We can even export and meet their demand.”
In March last year, the lab of the Directorate General of Drug Administration that handles chemical tests, got the WHO approval to test the standard of drugs in Bangladesh, the minister said.
The other part involving biological tests is still awaiting the approval. The government has requested the WHO for a quick approval of the lab section.
It is possible to produce the coronavirus vaccine at home and they want to do it, said Abdul Muktadir, managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals.
Incepta can produce the vaccine if they get the raw materials. They wrote to Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, he said.
“These four companies have the seed and bulk for the vaccine. We are capable of producing vaccines from the seeds, as it is the main material. We wrote to the companies but they haven’t responded.”
The vaccine-producing companies must have thought that a few companies will be enough to produce the vaccine meeting the global demand, Muktadir said.
“As the global demand rose suddenly, I believe they will need more producers. Maybe they’ll look for more companies. Let’s see while we keep trying.”
The pharmaceutical companies have asked the government to initiate the process by approaching the bulk or seed vaccine-producing company, said Maleque.
“We already wrote to AstraZeneca to give us the raw materials. We told them that we have vaccine-making facilities and can use them. We can even export and meet their demand.”
In March last year, the lab of the Directorate General of Drug Administration that handles chemical tests, got the WHO approval to test the standard of drugs in Bangladesh, the minister said.
The other part involving biological tests is still awaiting the approval. The government has requested the WHO for a quick approval of the lab section.
It is possible to produce the coronavirus vaccine at home and they want to do it, said Abdul Muktadir, managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals.
Incepta can produce the vaccine if they get the raw materials. They wrote to Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, he said.
“These four companies have the seed and bulk for the vaccine. We are capable of producing vaccines from the seeds, as it is the main material. We wrote to the companies but they haven’t responded.”
The vaccine-producing companies must have thought that a few companies will be enough to produce the vaccine meeting the global demand, Muktadir said.
“As the global demand rose suddenly, I believe they will need more producers. Maybe they’ll look for more companies. Let’s see while we keep trying.”