The government has decided to procure 6 crore Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine doses from China to ramp up its inoculation efforts across the country.
The vaccine will be collected in the light of an agreement signed with China, according to sources.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services, like other countries in the world, Bangladesh has also seen an increase in Covid-19 infections and deaths. To ensure the health protection of the country’s people, the government has taken various steps to buy vaccines to fight against the epidemic situation.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on April 28 approved the purchase of any other effective vaccine, including Chinese Sinopharm, as a direct purchase method for emergency uses.
According to sources, an agreement between Health Department and the Chinese company Sinopharm was signed on June 19 in this regard.
After supplying 20 lakh doses of vaccine as per the agreement, Sinopharm authorities offered to supply 10.30 lakh doses and additional 20,000 doses, a total of 10.50 lakh doses of vaccine at a reduced single price. Then, a supplement agreement was signed. The purchase was approved at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Public Procurement on July 15. According to the Health Services Department, an agreement has been signed with Sinopharm to purchase 1.7 crore doses of vaccine so far.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 per cent of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to develop group immunity against Covid. According to that, in order to vaccinate 13.82 crore people of the country, at least 27.64 lakh doses of vaccine have to be collected. Against this demand, about 2.55 crore doses of vaccine have been procured so far, combining purchases and gifts and grants received from abroad.
Contacting various vaccine manufacturers around the world to procure more vaccines to meet the demand for vaccines, it is seen that Sinopharm is able to supply vaccines as per the demand of Bangladesh.
Following this, Sinopharm sent a draft agreement with a proposal to supply 6 crore doses of vaccine. The proposal has been evaluated by the tender evaluation committee of the health department and it has been recommended to buy 6 crore doses of vaccine at the single rate mentioned in the contract.