Bangladesh gets another 5.5m doses of Sinopharm COVID vaccine

Used vials of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine are kept on a tray at Dhaka Medical College Hospital on Saturday, June 19, 2021, the first day of the second phase of Bangladesh’s coronavirus vaccination campaign. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi
Another 5.5 million doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Bangladesh.

The shipment arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on a Biman Bangladesh flight around 2 am on Thursday.

"We received the vaccines and have sent them to cold storage," Dr Md Shamsul Haque, line director at the Directorate General of Health Services, told bdnews24.com.

Bangladesh has received about 30.4 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine so far.

The Bangladesh government had agreed to buy 30 million doses of the Chinese vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The country has also been receiving vaccines under the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX.

The first shipment of the Sinopharm vaccine - 500,000 shots - arrived in Bangladesh on May 12 as a gift from the Chinese government. Later, on Jun 13, China sent another shipment of 600,000 Sinopharm doses as a gift.

Since May, Bangladesh has received several shipments as per the deal with China.

The government started its national vaccination campaign in Feb 7, using the COVISHIELD vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca.

In addition to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the government has administered the Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.