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Bangladesh starts its Covid 19 vaccine drive with Made in India jabs

Armed with Made in India vaccines, Bangladesh embarks on its Covid 19 inoculation drive

Bangladesh, home to 16 crore people, has begun its Covid 19 vaccination drive today much earlier than expected after it received the much awaited Made in India jabs. The vaccines will be administered under a trial run at five government hospitals across Dhaka.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the vaccine drive on Wednesday at Kurmitola General Hospital virtually.
Bangladesh’s State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak was among the first to receive the jab. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Vice Chancellor Dr Kanak Kanti Barua, Health Services Secretary Abdul Manan and Additional Secretary (World Health) Kazi Zebunnesa Begum also received their doses at the hospital, according to media reports.
Dhaka Tribune reported that during the trial run, the government plans to vaccinate a further 690 people at these five government hospitals.
AK Abdul Momen, Foreign minister of the south Asian country, earlier said that Bangladesh is among the first few countries in the world to start the vaccination exercise.
While India has gifted 20 lakh Covishield vaccines manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) to the Sheikh Hasina government, Bangladesh received another 50 lakh doses on Monday under a procurement arrangement. Dhaka has purchased three crore vaccines developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca that will be procured by Beximco Pharmaceuticals under an agreement with SII in the next six months.
Meanwhile, as many as 92 countries have already approached India for the vaccine.
“Keeping in view the domestic requirements of the phased rollout, India will continue to supply Covid-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner. It will ensure that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava earlier said.
Besides, Dhaka, New Delhi has already sent ‘Made in India’ vaccines to other neighbouring countries including Bhutan, Nepal and Maldives as well.
India along with South Africa sought a waiver from patent protections for Covid 19 vaccines so that are available for mass application.