Bangladesh approves China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Updated: April 30, 2021 Source:
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Bangladesh's drug regulator has authorized the emergency use of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.

Major General Mahbubur Rahman, director general of Bangladesh's Directorate General of Drug Administration, made the announcement at a press conference Thursday in the capital Dhaka.

"We've issued emergency use approval for the Chinese-made jab."

Mahbubur Rahman further said hopefully within 1-1.5 weeks, Bangladesh will receive a batch of Sinopharm vaccine as a gift.

The Bangladeshi government on Wednesday gave the green light to a proposal of producing Chinese and Russian COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

Bangladesh's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal to produce the vaccines -- China's Sinopharm and Russia's Sputnik V.

The country's drug regulator had earlier cleared the emergency use of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

Shahida Akhter, a senior Cabinet Division official, said Wednesday that several leading Bangladeshi pharmaceutical firms in collaboration with the Chinese and Russian companies will produce the vaccines.

The decisions came days after Dhaka suspended the first dosing of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on a supply crunch.

Amid uncertainty over the timely arrival of the next COVID-19 vaccine shipment from India, the Bangladeshi government halted administering the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine across the country from Monday.

Nearly six million people have so far received the first dose of the vaccine in Bangladesh.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the country's COVID-19 vaccination drive on Jan. 28 to rein in the pandemic that has so far spread to nearly every Bangladeshi district.

To limit the second wave of the pandemic, Bangladesh on Wednesday extended the ongoing lockdown again by one week to May 5.

Editor: 王予