• Monday, Sep 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 08:24 am

DGDA clears Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for use in Bangladesh

  • Published at 07:45 am January 26th, 2021
Oxford AstraZeneca Covid19 vaccine Covishield
A vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India is seen at the offices of the Directorate General of Drug Administration in Dhaka on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The lot release certificate to the 2 million vaccines has not been issued as the Central Medical Stores Depot is yet to submit required documents

The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) has given clearance for the use of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.

The drug administration on Tuesday issued a lot release certificate to the 5 million vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

"Now it is ready to use," DGDA Director General Maj Gen Md Mahbubur Rahman said at a press conference in the afternoon.

Bangladesh received the first lot of the purchased Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from the SII, with its first consignment landing in Dhaka on Monday morning.

Nine freezer vans of the Beximco Pharma transported and stored the vaccines — called AZD1222 under SII's brand name Covishield — in their warehouse at Tongi.

On November 5 last year, the Bangladesh government, SII, and Beximco had signed a tripartite agreement to import the vaccine developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

According to the agreement, SII would deliver 30 million doses of vaccines over a period of six months — five million a month.

The vaccines are supposed to be handed over to the government by Wednesday for distribution among the district and upazila-level cold storages under the health directorate's EPI (Expanded Program on Immunization) in line with the Health Ministry's deployment plan.

The DGDA director general said: "Vaccines from the 5 million lot will be used in the inaugural vaccination program at Kurmitola General Hospital."

Also Read - 5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses arrive in Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the vaccination drive virtually on Wednesday at the hospital. A nurse will receive the first jab there.

Earlier on Thursday, Bangladesh received 2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a gift from the Indian government. That was the first ever consignment of vaccines that arrived in Bangladesh.

In the press conference, the drug administration chief said they could not issue another lot release certificate to the 2 million vaccines as the Central Medical Stores Depot (CMSD) was yet to submit required documents.

The CMSD was asked to submit the relevant papers in this regard, he added.

The nationwide vaccination program will start after a week of observation and a dry run on 400-500 people in Dhaka.

The government has worked out a plan for national vaccination against Covid-19 with a target to give two doses of jabs to each of over 130 million people to eliminate the prevalence of the deadly virus.

As per the plan, a total of 138,247,000 people will be vaccinated in five stages.

Health workers, freedom fighters, law enforcement agencies, military and other forces, government officials, journalists, public representatives, employees of city corporations and municipalities, and religious leaders will get the shots initially.

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