Medical &Health

WHO’s Covax facility, procurement from SII to cover initial vaccine needs: Maleque

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Sunday said the Coronavirus vaccine will reach the country in the middle of February and the government is prepared for vaccine distribution among people.

The minister came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after visiting the two vaccine labs of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA).

“We have trained manpower for giving vaccines and have enough cold boxes with specific temperature to preserve them,” he said, adding that a guideline for the procedure of applying the vaccine has been prepared.

Those who are criticizing the government over vaccine are talking without knowing the proper information, he insisted.

Besides the vaccine from India’s Serum Institute, the World Health Organization will also provide vaccine for 20 percent population of the country under the Covax facility, he said adding that “Along with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, WHO’s contribution will make it available for most of the people of the country.”

“Currently around 37 percent people are under 18 years old and around 30 lakh are pregnant while about one crore are staying abroad, so the Oxford vaccine and Covax facility of WHO will cover the majority of the population”, the minister said.

“Despite all these, we must wear masks,” he stressed.

On December 13, the government signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited for procuring Covid-19 vaccine.

Under the deal, Bangladesh will import three crore doses of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine), (50 lakh in each month) from Serum Institute of India in the next six months.

As per the MoU, Serum institute will provide SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine) to Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL).

The process to bring Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine will start in January next, said Zahid adding that a decision was taken in principle that Serum Institute will provide the vaccine at the same price they would procure.

Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh

Covid-19 fatalities in Bangladesh surged to 7,452 with 24 more deaths recorded in 24 hours until Sunday morning.

The mortality rate stood at 1.46 percent, the Directorate General of Health Services said.

Besides, 1,049 new cases pushed the caseload to 509,148.

So far, 451,961 patients – 88.77 percent, with 1473 new ones, have recovered.

Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8. The infection number reached the 5,00000-mark on December 20.

The first death was reported on March 18 and the death toll exceeded 7,000 on December 12.

The government has been warning of a second wave of Covid-19 in winter and urging people to properly follow health safety measures. It has adopted a ‘no mask, no service’ policy.

On Monday, the government announced that the country would get Covid-19 vaccines for some 45 million people by May-June next year.

“We’ll get 30 million doses for 15 million people at the end of January or early February next year. Sixty million more doses for 30 million people will arrive by May-June,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam told the media.

Source: United News of Bangladesh