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Dhaka Tribune

Human trial of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh to start in September

Samples of the vaccine will reach Bangladesh within a week, DGHS says

Update : 08 Sep 2020, 06:17 PM

The human trial of the Covid-19 vaccine, developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech Ltd, will start in September in Bangladesh.

Although the vaccine for trial has yet to arrive in the country, stakeholders related to the trial process said that it may come within a short period and then the phase 3 trial will start accordingly. 

Sinovac Biotech, a private company in China, and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) will jointly conduct the trial in Bangladesh under the supervision of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Md Habibur Rahman, director of management information system (MIS) at DGHS, told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday that samples of the vaccine would reach Bangladesh within a week.

"After its arrival, we will begin the trial that will be conducted on health workers of seven hospitals," he said.

Sources at the icddr,b communication department said Sinovac Biotech has to complete some customs formalities and others in China before sending vaccine samples to Bangladesh. 

After completion of the process, the company will send the vaccine sample for trial, they added. 

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

Also Read - Govt approves human trial of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh

"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," he said. 

Around 4,200 healthcare workers of seven Covid-19 dedicated hospitals in Dhaka will take part in the trial process. Half of the participants will take the vaccine in their body as per the scientific method of trial.

The hospitals are -- Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (two units), Mugda General Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait-Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital, Mahanagar General Hospital, and Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College Hospital.

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

On August 4, icddr,b sought the government's permission to conduct the trial at seven hospitals in Dhaka.

Trial of Sinovac's vaccine has already started in some other countries including Indonesia.

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

Besides, the government of Bangladesh would consider proposals of other companies if they want to conduct vaccine trials in Bangladesh, he added.

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