This vaccine is 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 in those who did not contract the virus
Bangladesh will receive 106,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine on June 2, according to a Health Ministry official.
Ministry spokesperson Maidul Islam confirmed Dhaka Tribune about the development after a conversation with Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday evening.
He said the vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh under the Covax scheme, which is co-led by the World Health Organization, the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 in those who did not contract the virus.
In early May, this vaccine was also found to be more than 95% effective against severe disease or death from the Covid-19 variants first detected in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351) in two studies based on real-world use of the vaccine, according to Yale Medicine.
Bangladesh launched its nationwide vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses purchased from the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The country has so far received seven million doses of the vaccine from SII through a contract for 30 million doses. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine from India as a bilateral partnership gift.
But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the rest of the doses by SII uncertain after the Indian government imposed a ban on vaccine export for meeting its local demand.
Last Wednesday, 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the Chinese government to Bangladesh, had also arrived in Dhaka amid the shortage.
Due to the vaccine shortage, the administration of the first dose in Bangladesh was suspended on April 26. The authorities have also suspended the vaccine registration process.
The health authorities currently have around 600,000 doses of the vaccine for the second shot, but over two million people are still yet to get the second jab.
In light of the situation, the Bangladesh government has also sought immediate delivery of four million vaccine doses from the US – which plans to share up to 60 million doses of its Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries as they become available.