Bangladesh has approved Chinese vaccine CoronaVac, made by Sinovac life Sciences Co.
In a press release on Sunday, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) said that CoronaVac is the fifth vaccine to be given Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).
M/s Incepta Vaccine Ltd, the local agent of the vaccine, applied to the DGDA for approval of the vaccine on 3 June.
According to the DGDA, the vaccine can be administered among people aged 18 and above. The two-dose vaccine will be inoculated in two to four weeks apart.The vaccine should be preserved at 2- 8 degrees Celsius.
CoronaVachas received EUA in 22 other countries, with the World Health Organisation including the vaccine in the Emergency Use Listing on 1 June.
Previously, Bangladesh approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield on 7 January, Russia's Sputnik V on 27 April, China's Sinopharm on 29 April and Pfizer-BioNTech on 27 May.
Deal with Russia at final stage; Vaccines from China, US coming soon
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, after a farewell meeting with Russian Ambassador Alexander Ignatov on Sunday, said an agreement with Russia on Covid-19 vaccine importwas at the final stage and Covid vaccines would come from China and the United States as well.
Hopefully, the agreement will be inked very soon. The health ministry is working on this and negotiations on purchase and joint production are at the final stage, the minister said.
If a deal on joint production is inked, some Bangladeshi companies will be able to produce the vaccine, Momen said.
Bangladesh is keen on quickly importing five million doses of Sputnik-V from Russia. Momen said he had sought the cooperation of the outgoing ambassador in expediting the process to import Covid vaccine from Russia.
After the meeting, Russian envoy Alexander Ignatov told reporters, "We are ready to help vaccinate your people and help them deal with Covid-19. The deal is almost done and it will be inked very soon."
Asked when the vaccine would be available, the ambassador said there were two aspects – jointproduction and supply. "It's a complicated process, but no problem will arise."
The foreign minister could not say much about Chinese vaccines.
"A delegation from that country would come to Bangladesh for a field visit. They will finalise the matter," Momen said.
University students to receive vaccine gifted by China
The authorities have decided to inoculate university students with Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that Bangladesh will receive as gift in the second phase from the Chinese government in the second week of June, said Dr Md Robed Amin, spokesperson of the Directorate General of Health Services, on Sunday.
"We have already received five lakh doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China as gift and hope to get another six lakh doses soon. We will launch a vaccination drive for university students soon after receiving thedoses," he said.
The shots will be given on a priority basis to the students whose exams are fast approaching, Robed Aminadded.