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Bangladesh to receive 3.5 mln vaccine doses from COVAX this month: FM Dr Momen

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said Bangladesh will receive more vaccine doses this month from Japan, the European Union (EU) and the USA under COVAX facility apart from a steady flow of vaccine doses from China.

“We’re in a good position now. I should say we’ve made a line up. I think there’ll be no vaccine crisis, and the vaccination programme will continue uninterruptedly,” he told a small group of reporters at his residence.

Dr Momen said Bangladesh is likely to get around 2.5 million doses of vaccine from Japan while 1 million from the EU under the COVAX facility. “These’re likely to be AstraZeneca vaccine doses.”

Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh recently got 2.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine doses from the USA under the COVAX facility. “US informed us that there’ll be more.”

He said the government has planned to bring vaccine doses from Sinopharm over the next three months as per the plan, and the first consignment of 2 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine has already arrived.

There is a discussion on extension of agreement beyond three months and Chinese side wanted to know how much Bangladesh wants.

Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said the government will keep in mind the issue of expiry of vaccine doses as many vaccine doses are coming together.

On vaccine supply from India, the Foreign Minister said India did not say that they will not give Bangladesh vaccine. “I hope we’ll get it from India once the situation improves and production is increased.”

Earlier, on July 3, Dr Momen said they had received positive indications from a number of countries regarding supply of more vaccine doses to Bangladesh.

“There’s nothing to be worried about. There’ll be plenty of vaccines. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has kept aside adequate funds for purchasing vaccines,” he said.

Bangladesh has received 2.5 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine under the COVAX facility and 2 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine (commercially purchased from China) on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the government is in negotiations with a number of countries to get AstraZeneca vaccine doses and the Foreign Minister is helping them in many ways. “We’ve got a positive indication from those countries that they’ll give us AstraZeneca.”

The Health Minister also said they got indications from India too that they will start supplying AstraZeneca from August. “Hope, we’ll get it timely and people will be able to get their second dose.”