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Dhaka Tribune

Covid-19: 2nd batch of 600,000 Sinopharm vaccine reach Dhaka

This second consignment is a gift from China to Bangladesh

Update : 13 Jun 2021, 03:51 PM

The two Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) aircraft – carrying total 600,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine – have reached Dhaka. 

The planes took off from Beijing International Airport around 10am (Bangladesh time) and reached Dhaka at around 5:30pm, confirmed a press release issued by ISPR.

This is the second consignment of vaccine doses that China has sent to Bangladesh as a gift. 

The two C-130J aircraft of BAF had departed for China on Saturday night.

The first consignment of 500,000 doses was handed over on May 12.

Bangladesh started its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program on February 7 by administering Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The country has so far received seven million Covishield doses through its contract. Besides, India gave Bangladesh 3.3 million vaccines as a gift.

However, on April 25, the government suspended administering the first doses with Covishield, just a day after India said no more vaccine doses would be shipped to Bangladesh anytime soon as the Covid-19 situation worsened there.

As SII has been unable to provide the number of doses they promised, many people are waiting for second jabs after receiving their first.

Meanwhile, the health authorities administered the Sinopharm vaccine to 500 medical college students on May 25.

Also Read - Covid-19: Bangladesh signs deal with China to buy vaccines

Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) administered the Sinopharm vaccine to over 450 Chinese citizens as well.

On May 31, the country also received a little over 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine under the Covax facility run by the World Health Organization and Gavi, the vaccine alliance.

To tackle the vaccine shortage, Bangladesh has also sought two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the US, once the latter announced on April 26 that it would share the vaccine with the world.

The US government said that they would give the vaccine, but they had yet to decide how many doses they would be able to provide to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh needs at least 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine immediately, for second doses.

The US reportedly wants to give Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to Bangladesh.

On June 3, the White House had announced its plan to share vaccines directly with Bangladesh as part of a framework to provide 80 million vaccine doses globally by the end of the month.

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