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NTAC calls for Phase 3 clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh

  • Published at 02:33 pm August 20th, 2020
Brazil: vaccine trial of Sinovac Biotech
Handout picture released by the Sao Paulo State Government press office showing a volunteer receiving the COVID-19 vaccine during the trial stage of the vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech at the Hospital das Clinicas (HC) in Sao Paulo state, Brazil, on July 21, 2020 AFP

If the clinical trials are conducted in Bangladesh, then the country can avail the vaccine on a priority basis, the statement said

The National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) has also proposed that the Phase 3 trials of Covid-19 vaccine should be conducted in Bangladesh, and urged the government to take an all out preparation to bring the newly-developed vaccine into the country.

NATC made the recommendation after their 17th meeting, which took place on a virtual platform on Wednesday, said a press release signed by the committee’s chief Professor Dr Mohammad Sahidullah.

The committee also advised the government to collect the vaccine through a fast-track approach by contacting vaccine-producing companies or countries and make payments in advance, if necessary.

It also suggested that clinical trials should be done in Bangladesh as part of building immunity among people through vaccination.

Mentioning that several non-vaccine producing countries have been playing a role by allowing clinical trials of vaccines developed by the UK, USA, China, India, and Russia, the committee also highlighted that Phase 3 trials of vaccine developed by Oxford was being tested in Brazil and India, and vaccine developed by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac is being tested in Brazil, UAE, Indonesia, Chili, Philippines, and Turkey.   

If the clinical trials are conducted in Bangladesh, then the country can avail the vaccine on a priority basis, the statement said.

The NTAC statement said generally the World Health Organization (WHO) distributes an initial usable vaccine considering the per capita income of the country. However, in the case of Covid-19, it will take a long time for Bangladesh to avail the vaccine if WHO follows the same method. 

The committee said the government should determine how much vaccine they might need and what equipment or kits they would have to make available for the vaccination, as well as determining the space along with the cold chain for preserving the vaccine, and all micro planning activities needed to continue the operation.

They also urged the government to identify those who are now high risk, and who will come second and third so that it could be provided in phases effectively.

Recommendation to resume virtual health bulletin again

The advisory committee also advised to resume the recently-halted virtual daily health bulletin.

Health authorities were also suggested they organize a press briefing in the presence of media so that they could ask questions to the authorities, the press release added. 

The committee also mentioned that the decision of not keeping doctors at hotels to keep them under quarantine after their duties, has emerged as the new inconvenience for the professionals.

They said ensuring quality quarantine centres after the duty at hospitals is much needed for the healthcare professionals as having no quality space could put their family members at risk of Covid-19 as well, the press release said.

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