Many countries are signing agreements with biotech companies so that they can get the shots if the vaccines succeed, but Bangladesh is yet to strike any such deal
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the government has applied to all countries that are producing the Covid-19 vaccine.
"We have already allocated money for purchasing the vaccine," the premier came up with the remark while addressing the National Parliament, adding, "We will try to collect the coronavirus vaccine from wherever it is available and free the country's people from Covid-19."
Many countries are signing agreements with biotech companies and paying in advance so that they can get the shots if the vaccines succeed. However, Bangladesh is yet to strike any such vaccine deal.
The Bangladesh government has a plan to use Tk8,000 crore of Tk10,000 crore allocated in the current fiscal budget for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic to purchase vaccines.
Currently, 200 organisations and research firms are working globally on Covid-19 vaccine development and industrial-scale production. Of them, the Oxford University of London, Chinese Sinovac, US Moderna and Australia's Murdoch Children's Research Institute have begun human trials.
Progress so far
Siberia's Vector virology institute on September 8 completed early-stage human trials, known as Phase II, of a second potential Russian vaccine against Covid-19, the state consumer safety watchdog was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying.
Human trials of the second potential Covid-19 vaccine, a peptide-based jab, began on July 27 and involved a group of 100 volunteers, Interfax cited watchdog Rospotrebnadzor as saying.
Russia registered its first vaccine candidate, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute, on August 11. Late-stage trials of this vaccine, due to involve 40,000 participants, were launched last week.
The "Sputnik-V" Covid-19 vaccine produced an antibody response in all participants in early-stage trials, according to results published on September 4 by The Lancet medical journal, which were hailed by Moscow as an answer to its critics.
The results of the two trials, conducted in June-July this year and involving 76 participants, showed 100 percent of participants developing antibodies to the new coronavirus and no serious side effects, The Lancet said.
On August 28, the Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd announced that it will invest with Serum Institute of India (SII) for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals – the fastest-growing manufacturer of generic pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients in Bangladesh – will be the exclusive distributor of SII for this vaccine in Bangladesh.
A day earlier, The Bangladesh government gave the go-ahead for human trials of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech.
The government on August 25 proposed the United States to use Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines and drugs. Bangladesh on August 21 decided to allocate Tk765 crore to purchase about 22.5 lakh vaccines against the Covid-19.
To make allocations for the vaccine purchase, the government is taking away Tk510 crore from two ongoing projects funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
On June 28, Bangladesh announced to contribute $50,000 to the "Global Citizen" fund for supporting development and deploying Covid-19 vaccines in an equitable manner, as well as to rebuild communities impacted by the pandemic in a fair and just way.