Medical &Health

20-30 lakh more doses of Covid-19 vaccine to arrive Feb 22: Papon

Some 20-30 lakh more doses of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh on February 22, said Nazmul Hassan Papon, the Managing Director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals on Monday.

Papon came up with the information while talking to reporters after getting a shot at Kurmitola General Hospital.

“No initiative has been taken yet to bring Covid-19 vaccine under private management as everyone is getting vaccine free of cost. So, there is no need to bring vaccine under private management now,” he said.

He also urged people to get vaccinated.

The 2nd consignment of vaccine will arrive under the agreement Bangladesh signed with the Serum Institute of India (SII) through Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to procure three crore doses of Covishield.

On January 25, Bangladesh received the first consignment of 50 lakh doses of Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII).

The vaccine doses were imported from India by the government through Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

On January 21, Dhaka received 20 lakh doses of Covid vaccine as the Indian government sent the jabs as a gift to Bangladesh.

In November last year, the government of Bangladesh, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, and Serum Institute of India (SII) entered into a tripartite agreement to buy 30 million doses of Covishield, SII’s brand name for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma giants AstraZeneca.

Under the agreement, the Bangladesh government will pay SII for the 30 million doses of the vaccine while Beximco Pharma will receive a separate fee for its distribution role.

Beximco Pharma is the exclusive distributor of the vaccine in Bangladesh and will be responsible for maintaining the cold chain, import, storage, and delivery of the vaccine.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was proven to be safe with no major side-effects reported throughout human trials. It generates strong antibody and T-cells response for long-term immunity against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

In June 2020, SII signed an agreement with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and GAVI to produce 100 crore doses of AZD1222 under the brand name Covishield, mainly for supply to developing countries.

Coronavirus vaccination in Bangladesh

The government launched a countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7.

Doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that Bangladesh brought from India’s Serum Institute have been sent to hospitals across the country to make the inoculation drive a success.

Physicians and nurses have been trained to carry out the vaccination drive. So far, top government officials, Cabinet members, judges, policemen, along with general people, have received the vaccine.

After the first dose, the second one has to be taken within 8 to 12 weeks.

Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh recorded eight more Covid-19-related deaths and 326 fresh cases in the last 24 hours till Sunday morning, showing a little bit of rise in infection rate.

With the fresh figures, the death toll from the Coronavirus in the country rose to 8,274 and the caseload to 540,592, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

In a handout, the DGHS said the daily coronavirus infection rate in Bangladesh rose to 2.53 percent from Saturday’s 2.26 percent. The overall infection rate is now 14.05 percent.

The mortality rate stood at 1.53 percent on Sunday the handout said adding that 487,229 patients (90.13 pc) have so far recovered from the virus infection so far.

As of now, 3,848,116 samples have been tested, including 12,900 in the past 24 hours.

Bangladesh reported its first Coronavirus cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18 last year.