Administering of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine will begin on May 25/26, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday.
“The vaccine will be given to those on priority basis who need it most,” he said while responding to a question from reporters at the secretariat.
However, the 2nd dose of Covid-19 vaccine will run out within seven to ten days, the Minister said.
“We have been trying to get the 2nd dose of the vaccine. We contacted the Indian High Commissioner, we talked to the UK authorities and the Prime Minister is also trying so that we could get the 2nd dose of the vaccine,” he said.
“We have taken some initiatives. We talked to the US, China Russia and the UK and some progress has been made. Hopefully you will get good news soon. As per contacts, we have got only 70 lakhs of doses out of 3 crores. We are also worried about the 2nd dose of vaccine like you,” he added.
Vaccine arrives from China
Five lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the Chinese government to Bangladesh, arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday last.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, China and Bangladesh have been supporting and assisting each other to fight together against the pandemic.
China has donated and is donating vaccines to 80 developing countries with urgent needs, and has provided support under COVAX for the emergency use of vaccines in developing countries.
Bangladesh launched its vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca doses purchased from India's Serum Institute.
The government signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the doses uncertain.
The administering of the first dose has remained suspended since April 26. Also, the country, the prime recipient of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, has suspended the registration for Covid-19 jabs due to vaccine shortage amid a delay in the timely arrival of shipments from India.
In the last 24 hours, 10 people have received the first dose of the vaccine while 97,337 have received the second dose, said the health directorate.