BD receives around 8 lakh doses of AstraZeneca vaccine
Asraful Islam Asraf
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Saturday received the second consignment of AstraZeneca vaccine doses from Japan under the COVAX facility.
The second consignment contains 7,81,320 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. A cargo flight of Cathay Pacific that carried the vaccine doses from Japan landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 3:15 pm.
Senior Secretary to the Health Service Division Lokman Hossain Miah and Ambassador of Japan to Bangladesh Ito Naoki were also present there.
“We’re thankful to Japan. They’ve proved that they’re real friend of all Bangladeshis,” said Dr Momen after receiving the vaccine consignment.
He said Japan, may be in the future, would be providing more and more support to deal with the situation.
Dr Momen said Covid-19 is a big global problem and no country can resolve it alone. Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he said vaccine should be a public good and ownership of its technology should be shared by all the countries.
The third consignment that will contain 6,16,780 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is scheduled to arrive here on August 3. Foreign Minister Dr Momen received the first consignment of 2,45,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from Japan on July 24. Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Shahabuddin Ahmed saw off the second consignment of Japan-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine at the Narita Airport.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Naoki Ito said this is the manifestation of friendship and partnership. During his recent telephone conversation with Japanese Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, Dr Momen raised the vaccine issue and requested him to help Bangladesh with AstraZeneca vaccine supply.
He specifically mentioned the urgency of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses as a good number of people in Bangladesh did not get the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine due to a supply gap. Japan says it will stand by Bangladesh in the fight against Covid-19. The Japanese Foreign Minister announced that 15 countries in the region will be provided with 11 million doses in total under the COVAX facility.