Bangladesh receives 4.5 million doses of Moderna and Sinopharm vaccines
July 3rd, 2021 at 12:15 pm
Nearly three months after rolling out of mass inoculation in February with Oxford AstraZeneca doses, the government had to suspend the vaccination campaign after India halted vaccine export over supply crunch.
Bangladesh receives 4.5 million doses of Moderna and Sinopharm vaccines

by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;

Vaccine-starved Bangladesh has received 4.5 million doses of Moderna and Sinopharm jabs to resume its mass inoculation against novel coronavirus that killed more than 14,000 people in the South Asian country, officials said on Saturday.

Four air flights carrying those doses from the United States and China landed at the Dhaka international airport on Friday night and Saturday morning, the officials said.

Bangladesh received the Moderna vaccine under the Covax initiative while the Chinese doses are procured under a commercial agreement.

“This is a gift, at no cost, from the American people.  We share these vaccines with the singular objective of saving lives.  Because it is the right thing to do.  It is what Americans do in times of need,” said US Ambassador Earl R. Miller after the arrival of the first batch of Moderna vaccine.

“When we have the capacity, we have the will, and we step up and we deliver,” he said adding that the arrival of the vaccine is only the beginning.  

The United States understands the urgency of getting as many safe and effective vaccines to Bangladesh as quickly as possible, he affirmed in a speech delivered early on Saturday.

Officials from Bangladesh government and US embassy in Dhaka posed for photographs after receiving Moderna vaccine doses at Dhaka airport – US embassy photo

On the other hand, two air deliveries from China carried 2 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines.

A dearth in vaccine stock, gradual lifting of previously imposed restrictions and the arrival of super spreading Delta variant worsened the Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh last month.

In the face of rising number of infections and deaths, the government on Thursday imposed a nationwide strict lockdown, shutting offices, shopping malls and transportations.

Nearly three months after rolling out of mass inoculation in February with Oxford AstraZeneca doses, the government had to suspend the vaccination campaign after India halted vaccine export over supply crunch.

The programme, however, resumed with nearly 1 million vaccine doses gifted by Chinese government.

Having a population of over 160 million, Bangladesh has so far vaccinated slightly higher than 10 million people. The arrival of new doses is expected to resume the country’s anti-Covid-19 vaccine in full-swing.

Senior Bangladeshi officials, including Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque were at the airport when the new doses arrived in Bangladesh.

newsnextbd.com/n