Pfizer’s vaccine arrives today

PBC News:  Bangladesh will receive the first consignment of 1,00,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday (May 31), according to an official of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

Dr Shamsul Huque, member secretary of the Vaccine Deployment Committee, said 1,00,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka by a flight of Qatar Airways at 11:20pm on Sunday.

He said the vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh under the Covax scheme, which is co-led by the World Health Organization, the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

However, it has not yet been finalised when the vaccination will be started with these vaccine or who are going to brought under the vaccination.

Dr Shamsul Huque said the National Committee for Vaccination will take final decision in this regard.

Earlier on May 19, quoting Health Minister Zahid Maleque, the Health Ministry’s spokesperson Maidul Islam said Gavi’s Covax facility confirmed the Health Minister that they would send minimum 1,0,6,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine on June 2.

However, the DGHS has confirmed that the vaccine would arrive before June 2.

The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 in those who did not contract the virus.

Bangladesh launched its nationwide vaccination drive on February 7 with Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses purchased from the Serum Institute of India (SII).

The country has so far received seven million doses of the vaccine from SII through a contract for 30 million doses. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine from India as a bilateral partnership gift.

But a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the rest of the doses by SII uncertain after the Indian government imposed a ban on vaccine export for meeting its local demand.

Last Wednesday, 5,00,000 doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the Chinese government to Bangladesh, had also arrived in Dhaka amid the shortage.

Due to the vaccine shortage, the administration of the first dose in Bangladesh was suspended on April 26. The authorities have also suspended the vaccine registration process.

The health authorities currently have around 2,50,000 doses of Covishield vaccine for the second shot, but over two million people are still yet to get the second jab.

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