Relying on donations and charity, such as with the Covax initiative, is not enough
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc, taking lives and devastating economies, vaccines have become the need of the hour.
This is a situation that has been worsened by the fact that wealthier nations which have successfully developed vaccines have so far been unsuccessful in waiving the intellectual property rights that will allow the world to increase its production of vaccines and, at the same time, bring down costs for poorer nations.
With such a gridlock in place, relying on donations and charity, such as with the Covax initiative, is not enough; such an arrangement forces nations like Bangladesh to rely on the generosity of others to protect themselves -- a situation we would do best to avoid.
As such, it is indeed great news that the government is taking steps to set up an international vaccine institute right here on home soil, which will allow Bangladesh to produce its own vaccines and take more effective steps towards protecting our own citizens. This will also allow us to take matters into our own hands, and prevent surprises like the one we experienced with our initial acquisition from India.
What is more encouraging is that, according to the prime minister herself, negotiations are already underway with vaccine developing nations -- and it seems an agreement with South Korea has already been reached -- to set up the institute and transfer the technology necessary to allow Bangladesh to start producing its own vaccines.
In the meantime, it is commendable that Bangladesh has already acquired more than 10 million shots of Covid vaccines from a variety of nations, which will ensure that process to vaccinate the nation continues.
For this to be successful, however, efficient implementation is key -- authorities must tolerate no delay as they work towards setting up the institute as soon as possible.