As of April 23, nearly 5.78 million people have received the first dose
Amid uncertainty over the arrival of the next Covid-19 vaccine shipment, the health authorities have decided to temporarily stop administering the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZenca shots across Bangladesh.
In an official notification on Sunday, the directorate of health said that administration of the first dose will remain halted from April 26.
As of April 23, nearly 5.78 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine, according to official figures.
It comes amid uncertainty over further supply of vaccines, with the government frantically searching for vaccines from various global sources.
Amid a steep rise in Covid cases in India and reports of shortage of vaccines, the Indian government reportedly paused vaccine exports last month to meet domestic demand.
The health authorities move comes a day after Beximco Pharmaceuticals, which is responsible for procuring the shots, urged the government to step in as the Serum Institute of India failed to provide vaccine doses in keeping with their agreement.
“If Serum does not provide the vaccines, we will face a crisis with the second dose,” its Managing Director Nazmuld Hassan said on Saturday. “The government should make a strong statement on this issue.”
Bangladesh signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India to purchase 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in November last year.
As stated in the contract, five million doses of the vaccine would be sent every month for six months.
Bangladesh has received 10.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by Serum, including 3.2 million doses as gifts in two phases from India.
According to the health authorities of the country, some 7.75 million doses had been administered till Thursday, leaving only 2.45 million vials in stock.