The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs has suggested the ministry keep up intensified efforts to get Oxford-AstraZeneca and China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines from India, China and the United States.
The 20th meeting of the committee was held at Sangsad Bhaban on Sunday with its Chairman Faruk Khan in the chair. Committee members including Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Nurul Islam Nahid and M Abdul Majid were present.
It reviewed the current situation about procurement of vaccines, celebrations of 50 years of Bangladesh's Independence and other issues, said a media release.
Dr Momen on Saturday said there is nothing to be worried about the availability of vaccines, noting that the government will have enough vaccines soon from alternative sources.
Also read: Nothing to be worried about vaccines: FM
“I believe we'll have enough vaccines. No person should be worried about it. Vaccines will come timely and all will get it,” he said in a video message shared on his verified Facebook page.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh is much ahead of many countries in the world in procuring vaccines and launching vaccination drives across the country.
He said many European countries decided about which vaccine they should use just in April whereas in Bangladesh many people got vaccinated.
Apart from China and Russia, Dr Momen said, there is much possibility to get vaccines from the US.
The Foreign Minister has recently written a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken seeking vaccine doses for immediate and long-term needs.
The government has sought immediate release of 2-4 million doses of vaccine from the US and a total of 10 to 20 million doses of vaccine for the long-term supply.
The US will share up to 60 million doses of its Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries as they become available.
The Foreign Minister said 5,00,000 doses of Chinese vaccine will arrive on May 12 as gift from the Chinese government.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for this vaccine to be rolled out globally.
The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
Dr Momen said Russia's Sputnik V vaccine showed over 97 percent efficacy while the Chinese vaccines were taken by 100 million people without any side effects.
Bangladesh has received 7 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift. This is the largest amount sent from India to any country.