Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2021-06-13 20:40:44 BdST
Two planes from the Bangladesh Air Force left for China at 10am on Sunday to pick up the doses of the vaccine and arrived back in Dhaka at the Air Force Base Bangabandhu at 5:30pm.
M Shamsul Haque, a COVID vaccine taskforce official, received the gift from China after the shipment was deplaned.
The vaccines will be taken to the Mohakhali EPI storage centre, Haque told the media.
“Alongside the vaccines, the Chinese Communist Party has also gifted Bangladesh’s Awami League with some medical equipment.”
Workers unload Sinopharm COVID-19 doses from a plane at Air Force Base Bangabandhu in Dhaka after the arrival of the vaccine from China as a gift on Sunday, Jun 13, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove
“The vaccines will be stored at the prescribed temperature and will be used soon,” he said.
Bangladesh started its mass vaccination campaign in February using COVISHIELD, the vaccine developed by the UK's University of Oxford and Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca.
Despite an agreement on 30 million jabs, its manufacturer Serum Institute of India had sent only seven million doses in two shipments before India froze the export of the vaccine to tackle its own devastating crisis.
Boxes containing Sinopharm COVID-19 doses await transportation to a cold storage at Air Force Base Bangabandhu in Dhaka after the arrival of the vaccine from China as a gift on Sunday, Jun 13, 2021. Photo: Asif Mahmud Ove
In a bid to mitigate the crisis, the government reached out to China and Russia for vaccines. China has already sent 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine as a gift.
Later, China said it would gift another 600,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh. The latest coronavirus vaccine developed by Sinovac Life Sciences Company has been approved for emergency use in Bangladesh as the second vaccine from China.