Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said the government is worried about administering the second dose of coronavirus vaccine as the stock would run out within 7 to 10 days.
The minister came up with the statement while responding to a question from a reporter at the secretariat, reports UNB.
“We have been trying to get the 2nd dose of the vaccine. We contacted the Indian High Commissioner, we talked to the UK authorities and the Prime Minister is also trying so that we could get the second dose of the vaccine,” he said.
“We have taken some initiatives. We talked to the US, China Russia and the UK and some progress has been made. Hopefully, you will get good news soon. As per contacts, we have got only 7 million doses out of 30 million. We are also worried about the 2nd dose of vaccine like you,” he added.
The minister informed that the government will start administering Chinese Covid-19 vaccine doses from May 25 or 26.
“The vaccine will be given to those on a priority basis who need it most,” he said.
Vaccine arrives from China
500,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the Chinese government to Bangladesh, arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday last.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, China and Bangladesh have been supporting and assisting each other to fight together against the pandemic.
China has donated and is donating vaccines to 80 developing countries with urgent needs, and has provided support under COVAX for the emergency use of vaccines in developing countries.
Bangladesh launched its vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca doses purchased from India's Serum Institute.
The government signed an agreement with Serum for 30 million doses. But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the doses uncertain.
The administering of the first dose has remained suspended since April 26. Also, the country, the prime recipient of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, has suspended the registration for Covid-19 jabs due to vaccine shortage amid a delay in the timely arrival of shipments from India.
In the last 24 hours, 10 people have received the first dose of the vaccine while 97,337 have received the second dose, said the health directorate.