General

DGDA OKs use of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) have cleared Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use after testing samples of the 5 million doses brought from India on Monday.

“We’ve thoroughly tested samples from the consignment,” DGDA Director General Maj Gen Mahbubur Rahman told a press briefing in Dhaka on Tuesday.

He said the vaccine would be used in the coronavirus vaccination campaign scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The UK was the first country to approve the use of the easy-to-handle Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Its low cost, availability and ease of use makes it a preferred choice for many countries. The doses can be kept in refrigerators rather than the ultra-cold storage some other vaccines require. The company has said it will sell it for $2.50 a dose and plans to make up to 3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

“We have a vaccine for the world,” said one study leader, Oxford’s Dr Andrew Pollard.

Bangladesh approved the emergency use of this vaccine on Jan 7. It inked a deal with the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd last month for procuring 30 million doses of the vaccine between January and June (five million doses each month).

The country received 2 million doses of vaccine as ‘gift’ from India last week.

DGDA DG Rahman said the Serum Institute of India is a world-class vaccine manufacturer.

Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18.

Currently, the country has 532,916 cases with 8,055 fatalities.

​​​​​​​ The mortality rate is now 1.51 percent, the Directorate General of Health Services said in a handout.

The daily detection rate fell to 3.58 percent while the current overall rate is 14.87 percent. Until this morning, 477,426 patients (89.59 percent) have recovered.

Source: United News of Bangladesh