Health and Family Welfare Ministry Secretary Abdul Mannan made the remarks while presiding over a meeting on Covid-19 vaccines at the ministry conference room in the secretariat
Chinese company Sinovac Biotech Ltd has applied to conduct phase 3 of its Covid-19 vaccine trials in Bangladesh.
According to UNB, Health Services Division Secretary Abdul Mannan on Tuesday said Sinovac Research and Development Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinovac, had filed the application through iccdr,b and it is currently pending with the Health and Family Welfare Ministry. The application is likely to be approved.
“Initially, the company said it would conduct the trial on 4,200 health workers from seven dedicated hospitals across the country. The government is also aware of other vaccines from other countries, including that of Oxford University in the United Kingdom,” the secretary added.
Abdul Mannan made the remarks while presiding over a meeting on Covid-19 vaccines at the ministry conference room in the secretariat, reports BSS.
“[Sinovac] has already seen success in the first and second phases of testing. If the initial tests here are successful, then the vaccine will be approved for trial on health workers in the country by iccdr,b,” he said.
Mentioning that Bangladesh would benefit by getting the vaccine if the trial is allowed, the Health Services Division secretary also said: “The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have listed Bangladesh. They have asked for the presence of a Bangladeshi representative at their next meeting in September, so some vaccines will also come to the country through Gavi.”
It may take at least six months for Sinovac Biotech to apply the vaccine to the general population of the country, expert officials said at the meeting. The vaccine will primarily be given among health workers aged 18-59.
Director General of the Department of Drug Administration Major General Mahbubur Rahman, Additional Secretary Kazi Jebunnesa Begum, Mostafa Kamal, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Director Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora and senior scientific officers of iccdr,b were present, among others.
Meanwhile, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Monday warned that there may never be “a silver bullet” against the Covid-19 pandemic.
During a regular press briefing in Geneva, he also said: “A number of vaccines are now in phase 3 clinical trials, and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.”