The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved in principle a proposal for producing Russian and Chinese Covid-19 vaccines in Bangladesh.
“The cabinet body has approved in principle the Health Ministry’s proposal to facilitate the production of Russian and Chinese vaccines,” said Dr Shahida Aktar, additional secretary of the Cabinet Division, while briefing reporters after the meeting, reports UNB.
She noted that the government will purchase vaccine technology from Russian and China through direct procurement method (DPM) which means the Health Ministry will not require to follow any competitive bidding princess.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal presided over the virtual meeting where the proposal was placed by the Health Ministry on an emergency basis.
Dr Shahida Aktar said Russia’s Sputnik-V and China’s Sinopharm will be produced in Bangladesh using the facilities and logistics of different private pharmaceutical companies.
“No name of any specific companies was discussed at the meeting. But it was agreed in principle that the Russian and Chinese authorities will examine facilities and then things will be settled about who will produce the vaccines,” he added.
The approval from the government’s top authority came within a day of the government’s move to produce Covid-19 vaccines from Russian and China after India imposed a ban on the export of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by Serum Institute to Bangladesh.
Mustafa Kamal said though Bangladesh approved Russian and Chinese vaccines’ local production, it will continue to its drive to have vaccine doses from India.
“We didn’t give up the hope about getting vaccine jabs from India,” he told the reporters.