This is the fifth vaccine the country has cleared so far
The health authorities in Bangladesh have approved CoronaVac, the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Chinese company Sinovac Biotech, for emergency use in the country.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) has given the approval following an application submitted by M/S Incepta Vaccine Limited on June 3, said a DGDA handout on Sunday.
M/s Incepta Vaccine Limited is the local agent of the vaccine.
According to DGDA, the vaccine can be administered among people aged 18 and above. The two-dose vaccine will be inoculated within two to four weeks of the first jab.
The vaccine's preservation temperature ranges between 2°C and 8°C.
China on Friday had approved emergency use of the Sinovac vaccine in people aged between three and 17.
Sinovac has also completed a Phase II clinical trial where participants were injected with a third booster dose after completing two regular shots, reports Reuters.
Participants saw a 10 fold increase in antibody levels compared with previous levels in a week, and 20 fold in half a month.
The company, however, cautioned that it still needs to complete longer-term observation of antibody duration before it can make a recommendation to authorities about when a third dose should be given.
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) had approved the Sinovac vaccine for emergency use, saying it prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated and prevented severe symptoms and hospitalisation in 100% of samples.
After Sinopharm, it is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light from the WHO.
In Bangladesh, the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine is the fifth one approved by the DGDA.
It had approved Pfizer-BioNTech on May 27, China's Sinopharm on April 29, Russia's Sputnik V on April 27 and Covishield from neighbouring India on January 7.
Bangladesh started a pilot vaccination program on January 27 and the nationwide program on February 7 by administering Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
However, on April 25, the government suspended administering the first dose of the vaccine, just a day after India stopped exporting the vaccine due to the record-breaking surge in cases and deaths there.
As the SII could not provide the doses of vaccine, a good number of people around Bangladesh are still waiting for their second jabs.
However, on June 1, Bangladesh received the first consignment of 100,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, under the Covax scheme run by WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Meanwhile, China also sent 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh as a special gift on May 12. Beijing has said that it will send another 600,000 doses of the vaccine to Dhaka.
Bangladesh started giving the Sinopharm vaccine to medical college students last Tuesday.
The Health Services Division will also procure a total of 15 million Sinopharm shots in the next three months — June, July and August.
The country is also negotiating with Russia to buy their Sputnik V vaccine.