Govt approves China’s Sinopharm vaccine

National

Staff Correspondent:   The Covid-19 vaccine developed by China’s Sinopharm has been approved for emergency use in Bangladesh, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) announced at a press conference yesterday.  “We have seen the review and phase 1, phase 2 reports of our technical committee. We have approved the Sinopharm vaccine and authorised its emergency use,” DGDA Director General Major General Mahbubur Rahman told the media on Thursday.

“The vaccine will be procured on G2G basis,” he added.    He also noted that government-level talks are taking place on manufacturing the Sinopharm vaccine in the country.   Mahbubur Rahman further said the health department will vaccinate 1,000 people in the beginning and observe the effect.

“We will start mass vaccination after the observation period,” said DGDA DG.  Second dose will be administered after 28 days of the first dose of this vaccine.  In July last year, China’s Sinovac sent a proposal to Dhaka to conduct a coronavirus vaccine trial here.

The Bangladesh Medical Research Council approved the proposal and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) was preparing for the trial subsequently.  At that time, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla made a surprise visit to Dhaka and Bangladesh’s interest in the trial of Chinese vaccine subsided as Bangladesh opted for the India-manufactured Oxford vaccine.  Over the past two weeks, the government has stepped up efforts for vaccines from China and Russia to ease the vaccine crisis after India imposed an export ban.