• Monday, Aug 08, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

5.4 million more Sinopharm Covid vaccine doses arrive in Bangladesh

  • Published at 12:49 pm September 11th, 2021
Sinopharm vaccine
File photo of the Covid-19 vaccine made by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products, a unit of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group (CNBG), taken on April 15, 2021 Reuters

China has supplied around 20 million doses of the vaccine to Bangladesh so far

Another 5.4 million doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Dhaka from China in the early hours of Saturday.

A regular Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 12.44am with the vaccine consignment, said Dr Shahriar Sazzad, in charge of the airport health camp.

"Md Shamsul Haque, line director at the Directorate General of Health Services, received the consignment at the airport," he told UNB.

The consignment is part of the commercial purchase from China, said Deputy Chief of Mission at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka Hualong Yan.

This is so far the second-largest batch of vaccine doses commercially purchased by Bangladesh from China.

"As a strategic partner of Bangladesh, China will always remain the most reliable supplier whatever and whenever the country needs," Hualong said.

With the new doses, China has supplied around 20 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh.

Another 2.4 million doses have also been received from China as bilateral assistance.

Bangladesh has so far received Sinopharm vaccine doses from China as a gift, under the Covax facility and commercial purchase.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently told parliament that the government had made arrangements to get more than 10 million Covid-19 jabs every month.

Also read - Health Minister: Bangladesh to get 5 million doses of vaccine each week

According to the schedule received from the company producing Sinopharm, 20 million shots will be available every month from October and 60 million from December, she added.

On August 16, Bangladesh, China and Incepta Vaccine Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding on the coproduction of the Sinopharm vaccine in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is now administering vaccines developed by four companies -- AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinopharm.

The government has administered at least 33,699,773 doses of the four Covid-19 vaccines – enough to have immunized around 10% of the country's population, assuming every person needs two doses.

Bangladesh has administered 10,990,721 shots of the Sinopharm vaccine as the first dose and 5,784,265 as the second dose, so far.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has recorded 1,527,215 infections and 26,832 deaths from coronavirus, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

The Covid-19 vaccines cannot offer 100% protection but when more people are jabbed there is less opportunity for the virus to infect and spread, say experts.

Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations and death; and with the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.