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Health - August 17, 2021

Dhaka, Beijing sign deal

Co-production of Vaccine

Staff Correspondent: In a major development towards vaccine cooperation, Dhaka and Beijing formally signed a deal yesterday for co-producing Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh signed the tripartite agreement with Chinese company Sinopharm and local drug manufacturer Incepta Pharmaceuticals at Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS) Auditorium, Mohakhali, Dhaka.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Health Minister Zahid Maleque, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming and Incepta Chairman Abdul Muktadir.
Joining the event virtually from Beijing of China, Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm Group, said under the agreement, Incepta will produce 5 million of Sinopharm vaccine every month in Bangladesh.
Diplomatic circle in Dhaka and the international community are considering the development as an important breakthrough in the Dhaka-Beijing ties and this co-production will greatly help Bangladesh speed up the current
nationwide vaccination drive.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, high dignitaries, officials and other concerned were present at the signing ceremony.
The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG).
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on May 21, 2021 approved the vaccine of Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm for emergency use. It is the first vaccine invented by a country outside the West and got approval by the WHO. Subsequently, Bangladesh also approved emergency use of Sinopharm vaccine and the vaccine is being largely inoculated across the country.
Official sources said Bangladesh will purchase huge bulk of Sinopharm vaccine liquid and the Incepta Pharmaceuticals will bottle it locally within next two months to meet the ever increasing demand for Covid-19 shots across the country.
As millions of people across Bangladesh line up for their coronavirus vaccination shots, the government is struggling to meet the surging demand.
According to the government proposal, some 26 crore doses of vaccines will be needed to vaccinate 80 percent of people for achieving herd community.
Apart from purchasing Chinese Sinopharm and Indian Covishield vaccines, Bangladesh is receiving Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines under the international vaccine facility COVAX.
The co-production of Sinopharm vaccine will greatly support the additional need of vaccine and booster doses in the coming months.

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