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Health minister hopes Bangladesh will get 210m COVID vaccine doses by early 2022

  • Senior Correspondent
    Published: 2021-07-25 01:28:51 BdST

A medical student receives a dose of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine on Saturday, June 19, 2021. The vaccine is being administered at four centres in Dhaka city and one centre each in the other 63 districts. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

Health Minister Zahid Maleque hopes the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses Bangladesh is receiving will reach 210 million by early 2022.   

These doses include 11.65 million the government has administered to the citizens until Saturday and over 10 million more doses in hand.

It is expecting 20 million more doses by August-end, Maleque said at a virtual discussion of Bangladesh Private Medical College Association on Saturday.

“We’ve arranged 210 million doses. I hope we'll get these doses by early next year,” he said.

The doses Bangladesh expects include 30 million from China, 30 million of Oxford University-AstraZeneca shot, 70 million under WHO-led COVAX facility, 10 million from Russia, and 70 million of Johnson & Johnson.          

“We'll be able to vaccinate at least 80 percent of our population with these doses,” the health minister said.

Bangladesh started its mass vaccination campaign in February, using the COVISHIELD vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca.

But the programme was subsequently halted after India banned vaccine exports to tackle a growing COVID crisis within its own borders.

The inoculation drive resumed on Jul 1 after the government received consignments of Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna vaccines from China and under COVAX.

Bangladesh has also received around 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan and expects a total of 2.9m shots of the vaccine from the country under COVAX.

More than 1.6 million of these doses will be used to fully vaccinate the citizens who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine but missed the second due to the shortage.