Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today (11 June 2021) said Bangladesh will get 1 million 800 doses of much-demanded AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine under COVAX.
These doses have been allocated from COVAX supply, he told media adding that the COVAX yet to mention about the source country of this AstraZeneca vaccine supply to Bangladesh.
The COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization.
The COVAX allocation comes as good news for Bangladesh as Dhaka has been desperately looking for AstraZeneca vaccines to inoculate 1.5 million people here those are awaiting for getting the second dose of same vaccine.
Earlier, Dhaka urged Washington DC to send 2 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine immediately after knowing that the US had 60 to 80 million AstraZeneca shots in stock.
On Thursday, the foreign minister said Bangladesh then reached out to Washington DC in this regard while Bangladeshi diaspora community filed a petitioned to the White House, seeking the AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
Besides, negotiation has been going on between Bangladesh and China and Russia to bring adequate vaccines here as soon as possible while Momen said the government is hopeful to make a formal announcement soon on coproduction of COVID-19 vaccine here.
Earlier in several occasions, the foreign minister said Bangladesh wants to purchase 1.5 crore doses of Chinese vaccine and to import 5 million doses of Sputnik COVID vaccine from Russia and the health ministry is working on it.
Meanwhile, Dhaka is set to send two aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force to bring 6 lakh doses of Chinese vaccine, gifted by Beijing, on 13 June.
At the request of Bangladesh foreign minister Momen, on 22 May, his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi announced that China has decided to provide six lakh more COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh as second batch of gift.
On 12 May 2021, China handed over first batch of five lakh doses of its Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh as gift while Dhaka is keeping its efforts on globally to get access to enough inoculation.