The first consignment of 1.2 million out of 2.5 million doses of the US’s Moderna vaccine gifted by Washington DC under the COVAX framework arrived here tonight.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malik received the vaccine from US Ambassador Earl Miller at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as the flight carrying the jabs reached at the airport at 11:30 pm.
The second consignment of 1.3 million doses of Moderna vaccines is scheduled to reach here on Saturday morning.
These 2.5 million vaccine doses are part of US government’s recent allocation of 25 million vaccine doses for countries in Asia.
Both the foreign and health ministers are also planned to receive two consignments of 2 million Sinopharm vaccine doses, purchased from China by Bangladesh government commercially, those are scheduled to arrive here after midnight tonight.
Earlier, Bangladesh received 1.1 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China as gift in two occasions in May and June last.
The vaccine consignments have been reaching here as good news for Bangladesh as Dhaka has been desperately looking for vaccines to inoculate a huge number of people.
On Thursday, the foreign minister expressed his optimism that the shortage of COVID vaccine would be over soon as Dhaka is expecting steady supplies of vaccine from different sources.
On the same day, the health minister, in a video message said, the government will resume the regular vaccination drive after getting these 4.5 million doses of US and Chinese vaccine.
Dhaka had urged Washington DC to send 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine immediately after knowing that the US had 60 to 80 million AstraZeneca shots in stock.
Besides, Bangladeshi diaspora community filed a petition to the White House, seeking vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, negotiation has been going on between Bangladesh and China and Russia to bring adequate vaccines here as soon as possible while the foreign minister earlier said the government is hopeful to make a formal announcement soon on coproduction of COVID-19 vaccine here.
The health ministry has been negotiating to purchase 1.5 crore doses of Chinese vaccine and to import 5 million doses of Sputnik COVID vaccine from Russia, according to the official sources.
On January 21, Bangladesh received its first ever COVID-19 vaccine consignment as India sent 20 million doses of inoculate as gift. Bangladesh has so far received 1.2 crore vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
On June 29, the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) approved Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of Covid-19 Moderna vaccine in the country.
Bangladesh has so far approved eight COVID-19 vaccines to control the deadly disease.
The approved COVID-19 vaccines are from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, CoronaVac, Pfizer, Covishield, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm. -BSS