Bangladesh has so far received seven million out of 30 million doses from the Serum Institute of India
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has urged his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar to send the promised AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh as soon as possible to meet up the immediate second dose vaccine requirements in the country.
He made the call during a telephone conversation with the Indian external affairs minister on Tuesday, reports BSS citing a Foreign Ministry press release.
Momen also urged Jaishankar to lobby with the US so that Bangladesh could get access to a portion of the surplus vaccine of the US.
In reply, the Indian foreign minister said he was aware of Bangladesh’s need for the vaccine and assured that he would urge the US in this regard.
Earlier, Momen had said that Bangladesh sought immediate delivery of four million vaccine doses from the US — which plans to share up to 60 million doses of its Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with other countries as they become available.
Bangladesh has so far received seven million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, named Covidshield, produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) through its contract for 30 million doses.
Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine from India as a bilateral partnership gift.
Last Wednesday, 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the Chinese government to Bangladesh, had also arrived in Dhaka.
Bangladesh launched its vaccination drive on February 7 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine purchased from SII. But a record number of deaths and cases in India has made the delivery of the rest of the vaccine doses uncertain.
The government suspended giving the first dose of the vaccine on April 26 due to the vaccine shortage and after the Indian government imposed a ban on vaccine export for meeting its local demand.
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.