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Monday, June 5, 2023

Bangladesh needs global support in producing COVID vaccines: FM

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Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has said Bangladesh needs global support in producing COVID-19 vaccine as the country’s pharmaceutical companies have the capacity to produce the jabs.

“The countries like Bangladesh that have the capability of producing vaccines should be allowed and be supported in producing vaccines,” he said, reports BSS.

The foreign minister was addressing the Asia Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation on “Promoting Cooperation on Combating the Pandemic for Sustainable Recovery” virtually on Wednesday night.

He urged to ensure that no one is left behind by declaring the Covid-19 vaccines as a global public goods as well as implementing its distribution through strong international cooperation.

Dr Momen also proposed for stronger and concerted advocacy with the vaccine producing states to strengthen COVAX by WHO, while ensuring ‘free to choose’.

“Vaccines remain the centerpiece in the effective fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Bangladesh believes that the Covid-19 vaccines should be declared as a global public goods,” he said.

The foreign minister said it is encouraging to see countries like China playing important roles for availability of vaccines while the COVAX initiative by WHO is highly laudable.

“We need transitioning to non-linear, big data driven, and prioritised supply chain systems to ensure availability, access, and affordability of vaccines to build back better and stronger socio-economically,” he observed.

Noting that infrastructure will play a critical role in this regard, the foreign minister said Bangladesh is ready and willing to work with the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative) partners to develop sustainable infrastructure for the benefit of the peoples in Asia-Pacific.

Momen said Bangladesh achieved success in managing the first wake of the pandemic under the robust leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

However, he said Bangladesh is facing difficulty in the second wave due to shortage of vaccines.

At the same time, he said: “Through our Chairmanship of the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and V20, we are going the extra mile in ensuring a climate resilient recovery from this pandemic not only for ourselves but also for the whole CVF members.”

Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the event.

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