Covid19 – Bangladesh receives Sinopharm vaccine from as a gift from China
Bangladesh on Wednesday received 500,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine as a gift to continue its vaccination drive, which was halted due to shortage of India-made AstraZeneca jabs. The development came after the World Health Organization (WHO) listed the Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use, giving green light for this vaccine to be rolled out globally.
Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people, is in desperate need after India banned exports of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India because of its own devastating surge in infections. Bangladesh received about 7 million doses from the Indian institute, but its deal had called for 30 million doses to be delivered by June.
Bangladesh already suspended administering the first dose of vaccines. Some few hundreds of thousands of people are due their second dose but would be left out if new doses do not arrive soon. Bangladesh has attempted to diversify its vaccine sources, asking the United States for 4 million doses from its stock and signing a deal with Russia to produce Sputnik-V vaccines locally in Bangladesh.
The Chinese vaccines arrived in the country as the ties between the two countries apparently witnessed a sudden strain with China warning Bangladesh against joining the Quad alliance, saying that Dhaka”s participation in the anti-Beijing ‘club’ would result in ‘substantial damage’ to bilateral relations.