Foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen today (02 August 2021) said China has sent the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-production of its Sinopharm COVID vaccine with a local pharmaceutical here.
“We have already sent the draft MoU to the health ministry … they should dispose it quickly,” he told reporters at State Guest House Padma.
The foreign minister said it should not be delayed in preparing the final MoU as it would take two months to start coproduction here after signing the final agreement.
Momen confirmed that Chinese Sinopharm would go for co-production with Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Incepta.
However, he said, as per the tentative agreement Incepta cannot produce the vaccine here, they will do only bottling and leveling of Chinese jabs locally. “It will also reduce the vaccine cost a lot,” Momen added.
The foreign minister said the final agreement would be signed among three parties – Bangladesh government, Incepta pharmaceutical and Chinese Sinopharm.
About co-reproduction of Russian vaccine here, the foreign minister said, currently the Moscow administrations is working slowly as Russia has been hit by the third wave of coronavirus.
“But we are after them (Moscow) with all our efforts (to make co-production of Russian vaccine here),” he said.
Earlier today, Chinese ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming called on the foreign minister at his office.
During the meeting, Dr Momen said, the Chinese envoy assured him that his government would make sure steady vaccine supply to Bangladesh.
“They have requested us to let them know our demand beforehand as there is huge demand for Chinese vaccine globally,” he said.
So far, Dhaka received 70 lakh doses of Chinese Sinopharm, he added.
Mentioning that Bangladesh has received 55 lakh doses of Moderna vaccine from the USA at free of cost, the foreign minister said Washington DC assured Dhaka of sending more vaccine to Bangladesh.