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Bangladesh receives another 5m doses of Sinopharm COVID vaccine

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-09-18 11:59:07 BdST

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

A shipment containing 5 million doses of China's Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine has arrived in Bangladesh.

Health officials collected the shipment at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the early hours of Saturday and sent the vaccines to a cold storage facility.

"A Biman Bangladesh flight arrived with the vaccines around 12:45 am. The vaccines were then taken to Beximco's warehouse in Tongi," said Dr Sazzad Hossain, an airport health officer.

Bangladesh has received more than 24.9 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine so far. The government has agreed to buy 30 million doses of the Chinese vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The country is also receiving additional Sinopharm doses under the global vaccine-sharing platform COVAX.

The government started a 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.

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