As Bangladesh struggles to procure vaccines, Sinopharm, the Chinese drug firm, has offered to provide six million doses of its Covid-19 vaccines to the country, a report in The Daily Star said.
With India’s Serum Institute of India (SII) failing to comply with the commitment to supply 30 million vaccine shots in six installments, authorities in Bangladesh have started exploring alternative sources for the jabs.
The country’s Health Minister Zahid Maleque confirmed to The Daily Star that the Chinese Sinopharm, through its trustee sources, offered 60 lakh doses of its Covid-19 vaccine called BBIBP-CorV.
"We are giving importance to this issue. The negotiation is going on,” Maleque said, adding “we wanted to know about the price of the vaccine, when they will be able to deliver it, and how many they will deliver."
The government is also in talks with Russian authorities for the procurement of Sputnik-V. “Bangladesh ambassador in Russia is in talks with the Russian authorities. It is also in progress,” the health minister informed.
Earlier, the regulators in the country had suspended the field trial of the Sinopharm vaccine. However, as cases are now increasing rapidly, the government is desperate to diversify the vaccine supply lines.
Vaccine exports to foreign countries from India’s SII are drying up as the Indian government prioritized the domestic demands amid a dramatic, and worrying increase in numbers of Covid-19 cases in India.