The government has made arrangements to keep coroanvirus vaccine as a consignment of two million of the Oxfrod-Astrazeneca vaccine will arrive on Thursday as gift from the Indian government.
At the same time, the government also is preparing storages to keep more five million Covishield vaccine purchased from Serum Institute of India which may arrive in the country by January 26.
Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Tuesday said the government has prepared three alternative storages for keeping the vaccines.
“EPI’s headquarters, EPI repository at Tejgaon and Cental Medical Store Dept (CMSD) have been prepared to store the vaccines,” he said.
According to Serum Institute of India (SII), the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine can be carried and stored in a normal fridge as it can be stored, transported and handled for at least six months at 2-8 degrees Celsius.
The DGHS sources said the first consignment of two million vaccine of Indian gift will be preserved preserved in the cold storage of the capital’s Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).
According to the DGHS, there are Walk-In Cold Room (WIC) or Ice Lined Refrigerator (ILR) vaccine storage facilities in 64 districts. At least 483 upazilas have ILRs under the EPI network.
Each WIC store can accommodate up to 4.25 lakh vials of vaccine while an ILR can store 7,100 vials. Cold boxes will be needed with 900 vials capacity and vaccine carriers with 80 vials capacity.
The DGHS also is setting up 14 WICs in Dhaka and 17 ILRs in different districts, the sources added.
Steps have been taken to rent cold storages from the BADC [Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation] and other sources to increase national level storage capacity, he added.
Health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque said “Arrangement has been made to keep 425,000 vaccines in reserved cold rooms of every district level government hospital. At the same time, there are 5 to 10 ice freezers in every hospital where at least 71,000 doses of the vaccine can be kept.”
“We can store over seven lakh vaccines in every district and over two lakh vaccines in every upazila.” he said adding the government is also making arrangement for transportation and storage of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which may come by January 25 or 26.
As per agreement, the Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited will reach the coronavirus vaccine to district level from Airport as the government is purchasing 3 crore vaccines from the SII through the Beximco.