The first consignment of 50 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca will arrive in Bangladesh tomorrow (Monday).
“As per the agreement, the first consignment of 50 lakh doses of COVID-19 vaccine will arrive in the country tomorrow,” Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque told a press briefing at his ministry in Dhaka on Sunday.
An Air India special flight carrying the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, is likely to reach Dhaka at 11.30 am on Monday, January 25.
Managing Director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) Nazmul Hassan, MP, will receive the vaccine at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Bangladesh received its first ever COVID-19 vaccine consignment on January 21 (Thursday) as India sent 20 million doses of vaccine as gift, the health minister said, adding the total vaccine doses will stand at 70 million doses now. The government has taken all necessary preparations for distribution and preservation of these 70 million doses of vaccine, he added.
Maleque said the COVID-19 vaccines developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca has been proven safe and effective against the deadly virus.
“Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines gifted by the Indian government have been tested as the most effective and safe vaccines in the world,” he told a press briefing at his ministry here, an official release said.
Maleque described Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines as more suitable for Bangladeshi weather condition compared to other countries and he hoped that these vaccines will be more effective against the COVID-19.
Secretary of Health Service Division Abdul Mannan and Secretary of Health Education and Family Planning Division Md Ali Nur, among others, were present at the press briefing.
The health minister said COVID-19 vaccine receivers will be given telemedicine services, if side effects are found after administering of vaccines.
No significant side effects are reported after administering COVID-19 vaccines developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, he added.
At present, the government is providing nine types of vaccines against different diseases in the country, Maleque said, adding Bangladesh has enough experience in immunization as it has successfully prevented many diseases, including polio and tetanus.
“We will be successful in conducting COVID-19 vaccination drive using previous experiences,” he added.