Bangladesh won’t get commercial supply of Chinese vaccine so soon, says ambassador

Bangladesh will have to wait for some time to get the first commercial supply of Covid 19 vaccines from China, according to Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming

May 11, 2021
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Chinese vaccine (File)

Bangladesh will have to wait for some time to get the first commercial supply of Covid 19 vaccines from China, according to Chinese Ambassador in Dhaka Li Jiming.

“As per the first feedback I got from my colleagues in Beijing, the line is too long and you better not expect (commercial supply) before December,” the envoy said.

Jiming said he got a positive response when he insisted that the vaccines have to be supplied “as quickly as possible”, but still delivery won’t happen in the first half of the year.

The Bangladesh government gave the emergency-use authorization to a vaccine from China's state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm “only a week ago. 

“So obviously, there is a long queue for the supply in the international market. Right now, Bangladesh is not very close to the first line,” he said during an interaction with the Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh.

On April 29, Bangladesh approved the emergency use of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine amid a supply squeeze.

The first shipment of 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh “within two weeks”, Director General of Drug Administration Mahbubur Rahman said at the time.

This week, the World Health Organization approved for emergency use a COVID-19 vaccine from Sinopharm, bolstering Beijing's push for a bigger role in inoculating the world.

The vaccine, one of two main Chinese coronavirus vaccines that have been given to hundreds of millions of people in China and elsewhere, is the first developed by a non-Western country to win WHO backing.

“I got the approval from the Bangladesh government on the 30th of April, the last day of April. The beginning of May is the May Day holiday in China. So, you can imagine how wholeheartedly the embassy and my colleagues in China were working to secure these 500,000 vaccines to be available in two days from today,” he said.

In candid remarks, Jiming mentioned how dithering by Dhaka prevented efforts to explore the “possibility of commercial supply in various ways”.

Jiming mentioned that he “offered this kind gesture of the Chinese government” to give “some gift vaccines to Bangladeshi people as early as Feb 3 this year and it took three months for the Bangladesh government to approve it”.

“I hope the Bangladesh government will be more effective, especially when we are talking about some real challenges like pandemic,” he said.

(SAM)

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