Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (Jun 16) told the parliament that her government is going to establish an international vaccine institute in Bangladesh to produce vaccines of the Covid-19 and other viruses.
“The government has already taken an initiative to set up an international vaccine institute in the country to prevent various viruses, including the coronavirus. To this end, an agreement between Bangladesh and South Korea is under ratification and accession process of the cabinet,” she said while replying to a tabled question from a treasury bench lawmaker Ahsanul Islam (Titu) from Tangail-6 constituency, local media reported.
The PM added that her government has been collecting vaccines from multiple sources alongside taking measures to produce those locally to prevent further spread of the Covid-19 as the importance of vaccination is well established across the globe as the vaccine helps protect from any infectious diseases as it creates necessary antibodies to effectively fight the viruses.
She said that direct G2G (Government to Government) level discussions are currently going on with the vaccine producing countries relating to transfer of required technologies to produce vaccines.
The Leader of the House also said that they have already conducted a feasibility study on eligibility of three firms – Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Popular Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Ltd – to produce vaccines.
She, however, said that Globe Biotech Limited is currently conducting research on the Covid-19 vaccine, adding that the vaccine it invented is now at the trial stage.
Mentioning that many countries of the world have been trying their best to conduct research on vaccine production as the world has been rattling due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she stressed the need for more local research on this issue.
Replying to another question from Jatiya Party lawmaker Fakhrul Imam, the Prime Minister said her government has so far approved the emergency use of five vaccines – Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm (China), Sputnik-V (Russia), Pfizer-BioNTech (USA/Germany) and Crona Vac (China).
She said that Bangladesh has so far collected 1,08,0620 (1.08 crore) shots of Covid-19 vaccines from multiple sources. Of these, 1.02 crore shots of vaccines including the gifted ones came from India, while 5 lakh doses from Sinopharm and 1,0620 doses from Pfizer.
The PM added that as of June 5 last, a total of 58,22,177 people were vaccinated for the first jab while 42,09,510 people were administered the second dose.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury chaired the sitting of the 13th session of the 11th Jatiyo Sangsad.