The government is exploring Covid vaccines from three alternative sources, Russia, China and the USA, and it will take at least two weeks to complete the process, said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday.
“It’s a reasonable time,” he told reporters at his residence, adding that talks with India are also underway to get at least 2 to 3 million doses of vaccine for addressing Bangladesh’s immediate need.
Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen was also present at the briefing.
The US will begin sharing its entire stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the world once it clears federal safety reviews, the White House said on Monday, with as many as 60 million doses expected to be available for export in the coming months.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh can allow the emergency use of vaccines from Russia and China. "We'll collect the vaccine wherever we get it."
Responding to a question, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh requested China to supply vaccines to Bangladesh as soon as possible. In reply, the Chinese side said they will work with Bangladesh to that end.
He said there is a necessity for the supply of vaccine following delay and subsequent “halt” on supply of vaccine from India to Bangladesh.
Dr Momen said Bangladesh’s plan was effective but there is a new wave with a sharp rise of infection cases recently.
Responding to a question, he said the government is exploring direct purchase of vaccines from Russia on a G-to-G basis. Bangladesh has already approved the emergency use of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V.
Dr Momen briefed the journalists at his residence after a China-led virtual meeting that discussed cooperation among countries to deal with the Covid-19 situation, including setting up of “Covid Emergency Medical Storage Facility”.
He said China shared three ideas, including installing a development centre, to deal with post-Covid poverty and an e-Commerce Forum.
“We should believe in multilateralism. We laid emphasis on cooperation and partnership,” said the Foreign Minister.