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The Financial Express
Swasti Lankabangla Swasti Lankabangla

Kamal for exploring multiple sources of Covid vaccine

FE REPORT


| Updated: August 13, 2020 12:30:23


Kamal for exploring multiple sources of Covid vaccine

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal emphasised the need for taking quick steps to get access to coronavirus vaccine from any possible sources as the pandemic killed thousands and affected 0.266 million in the country.

At a virtual meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs on Wednesday, Mr Kamal suggested health minister Zahed Maleque to explore the possibility of securing vaccine from more than one source.

The health minister said he was waiting for a decision on the trial of the Chinese vaccine in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has yet to sign a financial contract with any global drug makers to get the vaccine while many countries are reported to have inked deals for the supply.

"I think you should contact more than one source so that you can safely and securely say that 'I am there. I am not going to be excluded,'" Mr Kamal told the health minister.

He requested the health minister to talk with the Prime Minister on this issue and assured that some funds were set aside for buying the vaccine and arranged as much as needed.

Talking with reporters after the meeting, Mr Kamal said the health minister will sit with the prime minister next week on the issue of vaccine procurement. The matter will be known to be everyone after that.

"My opinion is that depending on a single source may make it difficult to get the vaccine. So, we need to contact multiple sources," he said.

The finance minister said many countries have already signed contracts with the vaccine makers and paid money upfront.

"We also have to follow the same," Mr Kamal said.

Russia on Tuesday said it has approved a vaccine namely Sputnik-V for use after required checks and President Vladimir Putin's daughter has already been administered a dose.

The minister said the Russian vaccine may hit the market first and "we need to contact the Russian source for it".

He said the budget has earmarked some money for buying vaccines so that necessary financing can be mobilised on an emergency basis.

syful-islam@outlook.com

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