September 30, 2023, 12:38 pm

Diplomatic correspondent

2021-07-04 02:40:29 BdST

Got indications about more vaccine supplies to Bangladesh: FM

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said they have received positive indications from a number of countries regarding the supplies 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 told reporters at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday night.

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.

Dr Momen said the situation has stabilized as these vaccines from two sources came at a very critical time.

He thanked expatriate Bangladeshis in the USA who started a campaign for ensuring vaccine doses for Bangladesh. "It helped us."

Dr Momen also thanked US President Joe Biden and US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller saying President Biden has kept his words.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the vaccination programme in the country will be expedited with the arrival of 4.5 million doses of vaccine in the country.

He said the government is in discussion 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 doses from August. “Hope, we’ll get that timely, and people will be able to get their second doses.”

On the issue of supply of vaccines abroad, official spokesperson at Indian Ministry of External Affairs Arindam Bagchi reiterated that currently India’s priority remains on domestic production to domestic vaccination programme, which is progressing rapidly.

“I’ve said earlier, the government is making all-out efforts to augment vaccine availability in the country, be it through domestic production or imports,” he said in the latest regular briefing in New Delhi.

The Health Minister thanked the US government for the gift through COVAX and hoped to get more vaccines from the USA.

The United States’ gift from the American people of 2.5 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh, was delivered via COVAX. 

The United States said it is committed to leading the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and this summer, they will begin allocating the 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine it is providing to GAVI for distribution by COVAX to countries around the world. 

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