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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh to get 100,000 free vaccines from Chinese company

Sinovac Biotech, a vaccine maker based in Beijing, is testing its vaccine on 4,200 health care workers in Dhaka

Update : 11 Sep 2020, 11:07 PM

Bangladesh is set to receive over 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from a Chinese company.

China has been using prospects of a vaccine to bolster friendly ties and repair damaged relationships, even though the vaccine may still be months away from being ready for mass production, according to a report by The New York Times.

Sinovac Biotech, a vaccine maker based in Beijing, is testing its vaccine on 4,200 health care workers in Dhaka. The Chinese company has agreed to provide over 110,000 free vaccine doses to the country, said Dr John D. Clemens, executive director of the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b).

India, which is wary of Beijing’s intentions in South Asia, has responded to China’s offers of vaccines for Bangladesh with its own pledges to provide its allies with vaccines, the New York Times report added.

On August 27, Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced that the Bangladesh government had given approval to phase 3 or human trial of the Sinovac-developed vaccine.

"Sinovac will bear the cost of the trial. And Bangladesh will get 100,000 vaccine equipment for free as the country allowed Sinovac to conduct human trials," the health minister had said.

Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) gave ethical approval to icddr,b to conduct Sinovac's phase 3 trial in Bangladesh on July 19.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque also said that Bangladesh would get priority to buy vaccines from China and the Chinese ambassador would negotiate in favour of Bangladesh.

The Government of Bangladesh will consider proposals of other companies if they want to conduct vaccine trials in Bangladesh, he added.

In addition to Bangladesh, China is also giving quick vaccine access to the Philippines and giving $1 billion in loans to buy the medicine to Latin American and Caribbean nations.

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