Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency use in Bangladesh.
The committee formed by the Health Ministry on emergency medicine, vaccine and medical equipment for public health has given the approval, said Director General of Drug Administration Maj Gen Mahbubur Rahman.
The decision of the approval was taken at a meeting of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) on Tuesday after Bangladesh suspended the first dosing of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to short supply.
An application was filed to the drug regulator on April 24 for the approval of using the Russian vaccine.
Rahman informed that 40,000 doses of vaccine are likely to arrive by May.
Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine gives around 92% protection against Covid-19, reported BBC on February 2 this year referring to late stage trial results published in The Lancet reveal.
UNB adds: “The vaccine was approved by Russia and it’s now being used in seven countries of the world. We’ve got all the data about it and we’ve scrutinised it through technical experts,” Mahbubur Rahman added.
Apparently considering its dwindling stock, the government suspended administering the first dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Apr 26.
The first dose of the covid vaccination has apparently been suspended amid uncertainty over the availability of vaccine doses from Serum Institute of India as per contract following rapid surge in the virus cases and deaths in neighbouring India.
Bangladesh signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd for 30 million doses of the vaccine.
Bangladesh received 7 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India through its contract. Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift.
Although Foreign Minister AK Momen earlier assured people that there will be adequate doses of the vaccine but a record number of cases in India has made the delivery of the vaccine doses uncertain.
In mid-April, the pandemic suddenly turned India into a Covid vaccine importer from a mass exporter.
DG of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam said Bangladesh will get 21 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine by the first week of May.
“Most of these vaccine doses will be imported by Beximco Pharmaceuticals,” he told reporters.
Among the doses, one lakh are of COVAX while Serum Institute of India will supply the rest, Khurshid Alam said.