Dhaka requests Delhi to supply vaccine urgently

Diplomatic Correspondent | Published: 23:37, May 18,2021


Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday requested his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar to facilitate supply of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine to Bangladesh on an emergency basis. 

He made the request in a telephone conversation with the Indian minister, said a foreign ministry press release.

Jaishankar informed Momen that he was aware about Bangladesh’s need for the vaccine, including the demand for second dose receivers.

Momen also requested Jaishankar to use his good office for getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for Bangladesh from the United States.

Jaishankar assured that he would talk to the US about the matter.

The foreign minister also conveyed sympathy for the death of Indian nationals in the recent cyclonic storm.

Bangladesh has so far obtained 1.02 crore doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India with the brand name, Covishield.

Serum has supplied 70 lakh doses and the Indian government sent 32 lakh doses as gift.

The vaccination programme has faced a challenge lately as the Serum in March stopped supplying the vaccine in breach of the contract, under which the Bangladesh government paid it in advance to get 3 crore doses by June.

The government has stopped the first dose inoculation since April 26 and it has around 6 lakh doses which are being used for the second dose inoculation.

Among those who have received the first dose, over 14 lakh will not get the second dose in due time due to the vaccine shortage.

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