Varsity Voice Desk 05 May, 21
Beximco Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company, is supplying coronavirus vaccine to Bangladesh under a joint venture between Oxford University in the UK and AstraZeneca. The Serum Institute of India is producing the vaccine with a patent for the coronavirus vaccine and Beximco has entered into an agreement with the Indian company.
And the Bangladesh government is taking that vaccine from Beximco. However, Beximco is carrying out ancillary responsibilities including storage and supply of the vaccine in Bangladesh.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals, a Bangladeshi company that imports coronavirus vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, says Bangladesh has paid 1.5 crore in advance for serum vaccines, so India cannot stop it.
Siram said that they have prepared 5 million doses for Bangladesh but the Ministry of External Affairs is not giving clearance. Therefore, there is no reason for the Bangladesh government to remain silent about the vaccine. Said Mr. Papon
In mid-March, India banned the export of vaccines. As a result, as the vaccine did not arrive in Bangladesh, the Serum Institute could not send the vaccine shipment to the United Kingdom and Brazil on time.
So far, however, they have exported 70 million doses of the vaccine to six countries, most of which were Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.
According to health department sources, the government has started efforts to get the vaccine from Russia, China as well as other sources. Among them, Gavi-Covacs facility has expressed interest in providing 1 lakh 610 doses of vaccine to Bangladesh free of cost. China Sinofarm International Corporation has said that they will give 5 lakh vaccines produced by them as a gift to Bangladesh.
Experts say Bangladesh is reluctant to provide vaccines because it relies on an organization without having an alternative.
But now the government has formed a committee to look into alternative ways or how to get the vaccine from another country. That committee must report within seven days.
Officials say the countries that are producing the vaccine are now making every effort to get the vaccine by contacting all such countries.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said efforts were being made to bring in vaccines from Russia and China.
He said that according to Russia's proposal, their Sputnik vaccine is being considered for joint production in Bangladesh.
Fatema Afrouse Mili
Department of Economics