The parliamentary committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare strongly recommended for the production of coronavirus vaccine through the Essential Drugs, the only government-owned pharmaceutical company, within the next six months, sources said.
The recommendation was made on Tuesday at a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare held at the Sangsad Bhaban.
The recommendation came a day after a joint deal was signed between the Bangladesh government and Incepta Vaccine Limited, a private pharmaceutical company, for the bottling and supply of coronavirus vaccine made by Chinese company Sinopharm to Bangladesh.
At the end of the meeting, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, the chairman of the committee, said, “We have strongly made this recommendation at the meeting.”
“Vaccines must be produced through Essential Drugs within the next six months. We have also asked for an agreement between the governments of the two countries (G2G) on vaccine production,” he said.
It should be mentioned that Bangladesh earlier had signed an agreement for 30 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India. But when India fell into vaccine crises, it stopped exporting of vaccines after the Serum Institute sent only seven million doses in two consignments.
Then the government started trying of collecting vaccines from different other sources. Sinopharm and Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine were urgently approved in the country. Besides, the government also took initiatives for the production of vaccine in the country.
In this context, the Bangladesh government and Incepta Vaccine Ltd on Monday (August 16), signed a deal. As per the deal, the company will bring bulk vaccine from China and fill and label it in Bangladesh. The government will buy the vaccine from them.
If all goes well, Health Minister Zahid Maleque hoped that Incepta will be able to start Covid vaccine production in the country within three months.