Russia will allow Bangladesh to produce coronavirus vaccine if there is an opportunity, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said today.
"Russia is also interested in providing the vaccine on Government-to-Government (G2G) basis," the minister came up with the remark on Monday during a press briefing at the Secretariat.
The health minister said Russia has already written to Bangladesh about its capabilities. The Bangladesh government has also talked about this with the ambassador of the country.
The minister further said that official talks have also been held with South Korea regarding the coronavirus situation.
"South Korean government will provide two PCR machines and Antigen test kits worth USD 8 lakh for testing the dreaded virus," he said.
The government is planning to use Tk8,000 crore of Tk10,000 crore allocated in the current fiscal budget for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic to purchase vaccines.
Vaccine trial in Bangladesh
- Sinovac jointly with health ministry and icddr,b will conduct the phase-3 trial
- Vaccine will be administered to around 4,200 healthcare workers
- 50% participants will be vaccinated
- Bangladesh will get 1 lakh doses of vaccine for free for taking part in the trial
It has also proposed the United States to use Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies in manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines and drugs. Last week, during a short visit to Dhaka, Indian External Affairs Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said New Delhi will make its potential Covid-19 vaccine available for Bangladesh on a priority basis; once it is produced in partnership with its developer Oxford University.
Earlier on August 24, the government gave the go-ahead for human trials of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech here. The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) and Sinovac will jointly conduct the trial.
Later on August 28, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd announced that it will invest with Serum Institute of India (SII) for the development of a Covid-19 vaccine. Beximco will be the exclusive distributor of SII for this vaccine in Bangladesh.