First dose of Covid-19 vaccine won’t be administered after Oct 3: Health Minister
Almost 33 lakh people are yet to get the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, but the government has decided to stop administering the first dose by October 3, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said today. “Nearly 33 lakh people did not receive their first jab yet while 94 lakh people did not receive their second shot of Covid-19 vaccine across the country,” he said while speaking at a workshop over Covid-19 vaccination for children, aged 5-11 years, held at a Dhaka hotel. He also urged people, who have not taken their first Covid-19 vaccine dose yet, to take the shot as soon as possible. Read: Covid-19 vaccine consignment for kids arrive in Dhaka “After the month of October, there is a possibility of first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccine being out of stock. If some remain, those will be expired. So, those who did not receive first, second and booster doses, have been asked to take their respective jabs immediately,” said the health minister. Currently, 2.5 lakh people are working to ensure Covid-19 vaccination and of them 60,000 are administering the vaccines, he said, adding already 30 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered across the country. Talking about administering Covid-19 vaccine among children, Maleque said ten lakh children have received Covid-19 jabs and some 2.15 lakh children are waiting to receive the jabs. Read: US donates additional 10mn Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh
Moderna sues Pfizer over patents behind COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna is suing Pfizer and the German drugmaker BioNTech, accusing its main competitors of copying Moderna’s technology in order to make their own vaccine. Moderna said Friday that Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine Comirnaty infringes on patents Moderna filed several years ago protecting the technology behind its preventive shot, Spikevax. The company filed patent infringement lawsuits in both U.S. federal court and a German court. Pfizer spokeswoman Pam Eisele said the company had not fully reviewed Moderna’s lawsuit, but the drugmaker was surprised by it, given that their vaccine is based on proprietary technology developed by both BioNTech and Pfizer. She said in an email that the company would “vigorously defend” against any allegations in the case. BioNTech did not immediately respond to a request from The Associated Press seeking comment. Moderna and Pfizer’s two-shot vaccines both use mRNA technology to help patients fight the coronavirus. The mRNA vaccines work by injecting a genetic code for the spike protein that coats the surface of the coronavirus. That code, the mRNA, is encased in a little ball of fat, and instructs the body’s cells to make some harmless spike copies that train the immune system to recognize the real virus.That approach is radically different than how vaccines have traditionally been made. Read: Int'l community urged to intensify pressure on Myanmar military to stop violence against its people Moderna said it started developing its mRNA technology platform in 2010, and that helped the company quickly produce its COVID-19 vaccine after the pandemic arrived in early 2020. By the end of that year, U.S. regulators had cleared shots from both Pfizer and Moderna for use after clinical research showed that both were highly effective. Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said in a prepared statement that the vaccine developer pioneered that technology and invested billions of dollars in creating it. The company said it believes its rivals’ vaccine infringes on patents Moderna filed between 2010 and 2016. Moderna said it recognizes the importance of vaccine access and is not seeking to remove Comirnaty from the market. It also is not asking for an injunction to prevent future sales. Moderna said in 2020 that it would not enforce its COVID-19 related patents while the pandemic continued. But the company said in March, with vaccine supplies improving globally, that it would update that pledge. It said it still would not enforce its patients for vaccines used in low- and middle-income countries. But it expected companies like Pfizer and BioNTech to respect its intellectual property, and it would consider “a commercially reasonable license” in other markets if they requested one. “Pfizer and BioNTech have failed to do so,” Moderna said in a statement.
US donates additional 10mn Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh
The US government has donated another 10 million (1 crore) doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh via COVAX to help the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare continue expanding vaccinations to teens and adults across the country. This delivery brings the total number of all U.S. vaccine donations to over 85 million (8.5 crore) doses, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Tuesday. More than two-thirds of all international COVID-19 vaccine donations to Bangladesh have come from the United States and the American people. Also read: Bangladesh receives more doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from US The United States said it continues to work closely with Bangladesh to support every facet of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign. This effort includes training over 51,000 healthcare providers and other workers on safely administering vaccines to support Bangladesh’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out across 64 districts. The United States has also donated 18 freezer vans, 750 freezer units, and 8,000 vaccine carriers and helped transport 57 million doses of vaccines to remote areas – for direct administration of 47 million vaccinations. Also read: Administering 2nd dose of oral cholera vaccine begins August 3 in 5 Dhaka areas In Bangladesh, the United States has contributed more than $140 million in COVID-19 related development and humanitarian assistance. Globally, the United States has donated $4 billion to support the COVAX effort, which includes support for ultra-cold chain storage, transportation, and safe handling of COVID-19 vaccines, making the United States the world’s largest donor for equitable global COVID-19 vaccine access.
Bangladesh receives more doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from US
The US government has donated another 1.5 million pediatric doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to Bangladesh via COVAX to help the government of Bangladesh expand vaccination coverage to protect children ages 5-11 for the very first time. This delivery marks the second shipment of US-donated vaccines for young children this week and brings the total number of all US vaccine donations to over 75 million doses, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Monday. More than two-thirds of all international COVID-19 vaccine donations to Bangladesh have come from the United States and the American people. Also read: Covid-19 vaccine consignment for kids arrive in Dhaka The United States continues to work closely with Bangladesh to support every facet of the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign, according to the US Embassy. This includes training to over 51,000 healthcare providers and other workers on safely administering vaccines to support Bangladesh’s COVID-19 vaccination roll out across 64 districts. The United States has also donated 18 freezer vans, 750 freezer units, and 8,000 vaccine carriers and helped transport 57 million doses of vaccines to remote areas – for direct administration of 47 million vaccinations. In Bangladesh, the United States has contributed more than $140 million in COVID-19 related development and humanitarian assistance, said the US Embassy. Also read: Bangladesh gets another 4 mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine from US Globally, the United States has donated $4 billion to support the COVAX effort, which includes support for ultra-cold chain storage, transportation, and safe handling of COVID-19 vaccines, making the United States the world’s largest donor for equitable global COVID-19 vaccine access.
Covid-19 vaccine consignment for kids arrive in Dhaka
Bangladesh has received 1.5 million doses of pediatric Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines donated by the United States. This is the first shipment of specially formulated Covid-19 vaccines to protect children between the ages of 5-11 from the coronavirus. More vacancies are scheduled to arrive in the coming weeks, according to the US Embassy in Dhaka. Read: Children aged 5-12 to be vaccinated soon: Health Minister USAID is providing support to train health workers to administer these vaccines safely and effectively, enabling the government of Bangladesh to begin rolling out a Covid-19 vaccination campaign for kids ages 5 and older in the coming weeks. The United States has now donated nearly 74 million doses of Covid vaccines with more on the way.
From Dec, only Covid booster dose will be available in Bangladesh
A wake-up call for those who are yet to receive their first or second Covid shots -- from December, only the booster dose will be administered in Bangladesh. “The first or the second dose of Covid vaccines will not be available in Bangladesh after November, as by then the existing stock will expire. Also, the possibility of purchasing more vaccines is little," Shamsul Haque, member secretary of the vaccine management committee of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) told UNB. Also read: 70% of Covid deaths among unvaccinated: DGHS DG “From August, we will start the campaign to vaccinate children aged between five and 11 years against Covid-19,” he added. The high-ranking DGHS official said the booster dose campaign would continue across the country, "but people are still showing reluctance to get vaccinated". According to the directorate, a significant number of people, 70 percent, who have died of Covid so far in the country were not vaccinated against the disease. Also read: Bangladesh gets another 4 mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine from US
Bangladesh gets another 4 mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine from US
The United States has donated another 4 million ready-to-use doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh. This brings the total of US-donated vaccines to over 68 million doses delivered to date. Read:COVID vaccines saved 20M lives in 1st year, scientists say The doses will help the government of Bangladesh to expand vaccination and booster campaigns across the country and continue protecting people from COVID-19, said the US Embassy in Dhaka on Monday.
Bangladesh gets 115 million free Covid vaccines: Zahid Maleque
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Sunday told the Parliament that Bangladesh received a total of 115 million Covid-19 vaccines free of cost under the Covax facilities. “Bangladesh has so far got a total of 295 million Covid vaccines. Of these, 180 million vaccines were procured and we got the remaining doses free under the Covax facilities,” he said, replying to a supplementary question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Mujibul Haque (Kishoreganj-3). In reply to a scripted question from Treasury Bench lawmaker Ali Azam (Bhola-2), the minister said the government has a plan to vaccinate 80 per cent people of the country and all nationals aged above 5 will come under the Covid inoculation coverage. Also read: Bangladesh number 1 recipient of COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX: UNICEF As of June 01, the people were given a total of 12,87,73,436 first doses of Covid-19 vaccines, 11,76,45,371 second shots and 1,52,89,610 booster doses, he said adding that some 2,43,918 doses were given to the floating people. Responding to a starred question from Awami League MP Nurunnabi Chowdhury (Bhola-3), the health minister said the government suspended the production licenses of 46 drug companies from January 2021 to November 2021 for the sale of adulterated, substandard and expired medicines. The 46 companies include 17 homeopathic companies, 14 ayurvedic, six yunani, five allopathic and four herbal ones. The mobile courts filed a total of 2,036 cases and materialized over Tk 26.7 million as fine for the same offenses in 2021, he said. Also read: Declare vaccines as global goods, Hasina urges World Health Assembly Besides, 91 cases were filed in the magistrate courts and 21 other cases were lodged in the drug courts in this regard, said the Minister.
Bangladesh number 1 recipient of COVID-19 vaccines under COVAX: UNICEF
In one year, UNICEF has delivered over 190 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh through COVAX while a COVID-19 booster dose campaign is planned for June. To date, Bangladesh remains the top recipient of doses under COVAX, the global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization, with UNICEF as a key delivery partner. Also read: Richest countries damaging child health worldwide: Unicef COVAX accounts for more than 62 per cent of doses received by the country. The goal of COVAX is to ensure equitable access of COVID-19 vaccines globally, said UNICEF on Tuesday. COVID-19 vaccinations started in Bangladesh in February 2021. UNICEF delivered the first COVAX shipment of vaccines to Bangladesh on 1 June 2021, at a time when only 4 per cent of the population in the country were fully vaccinated. A year on, thanks to a strong partnership between the Government, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other partners, Bangladesh has fully vaccinated with two doses 69 per cent of its population – a staggering 117 million people. “Bangladesh’s ability to absorb and roll out COVID-19 vaccines is a testament to what can be achieved when there is political commitment and an equitable supply of vaccines,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh. The success in getting millions of vaccines quickly and safely into arms in every corner of the country has been nothing short of remarkable, Yett, added. “With the committed strong leadership of the Prime Minister, Bangladesh has shown incredible resilience to face the COVID-19 pandemic. With continuous supply of vaccines and hard work of dedicated health workers, we have been able to vaccinate the targeted population without wasting doses,” said Prof. Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Additional Directorate General (Planning and Development), DGHS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. UNICEF has also supported the Government’s COVID-19 response by strengthening the cold chain and ultra-cold chain, delivering critical supplies, generating demand, supporting data management and building capacity for vaccine administration. These investments will continue to serve the people of Bangladesh for years to come beyond the COVID-19 crisis. Also read: UNICEF: South Asia is epicentre of severely wasted children; Bangladesh fares better than India, Pakistan They are especially important to keep children safe from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles and polio. “Bangladesh with 69 per cent fully vaccinated population is close to achieving the global benchmark of 70 per cent fully vaccinated population by June 2022. The success could not have been possible without COVAX support. The ongoing pace of vaccination gives us a hope to see the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency. Let us also not forget that the pandemic is not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere” said Dr. Bardan Jung Rana, WHO Representative to Bangladesh.
Pfizer calls upon global health leaders, orgs to join ‘Accord for a Healthier World’
Pfizer has called upon the global health leaders and organizations to join the Accord, bringing their expertise and resources to close the health equity gap and help create a healthier world for 1.2 billion people. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) on Wednesday launched ‘An Accord for a Healthier World.’ This groundbreaking initiative aims to provide all of Pfizer’s patented, high-quality medicines and vaccines available in the U.S. or the European Union on a not-for-profit basis to 1.2 billion people in 45 lower-income countries. The Accord seeks to greatly reduce the health inequities that exist between many lower-income countries and the rest of the world. “As we learned in the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout, supply is only the first step to helping patients. We will work closely with global health leaders to make improvements in diagnosis, education, infrastructure, storage and more. Only when all the obstacles are overcome can we end healthcare inequities and deliver for all patients,” said Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla. Also read: Pfizer says 3 COVID shots protect children under 5 The Accord countries include all 27 low-income countries as well as 18 lower-middle-income countries that have transitioned from low to lower-middle-income classification in the last ten years, said a media release received from Switzerland. Pfizer will work with healthcare officials in Rwanda, Ghana, Malawi, Senegal and Uganda to identify early insights and opportunities to ensure all medicines and vaccines can reach those in need. This will include expertise to support diagnosis, healthcare professional education and training along with supply chain management and other infrastructure enhancements. Learnings from these five countries will be applied to support the roll out for the remaining forty countries. Pfizer will also collaborate with Accord participants to identify quick and efficient regulatory pathways and procurement processes to reduce the longer amount of time it can take to make new medicines and vaccines available in these countries. Under the Accord, Pfizer has committed to provide 23 medicines and vaccines that treat infectious diseases, certain cancers, and rare and inflammatory diseases. As Pfizer launches new medicines and vaccines, those products will also be included in the Accord portfolio on a not-for-profit basis. The Accord also aims to establish faster access to Pfizer’s future pipeline medicines and vaccines on a not-for-profit-basis to the 45 countries, particularly those that treat diseases that disproportionately impact global health. To further this commitment, Pfizer, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is advancing work on the development of vaccine candidates for the prevention of Group B Streptococcus (GBS), which is a leading cause of stillbirth and newborn mortality in low-income countries. Also read: CDC urges Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11 They are also discussing opportunities to support Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine development, another maternal vaccine. “Everyone, no matter where they live, should have the same access to innovative, life-saving drugs and vaccines,” said Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “The Accord for a Healthier World could help millions more people in low-income countries get the tools they need to live a healthy life. Pfizer is setting an example for other companies to follow.”