Bangladesh approves emergency use of Russian Sputnik V vaccine

Dhaka, Apr 27 : The government of Bangladesh on Tuesday approved the emergency use of Russian Sputnik V Vaccine.
The approval was given at a meeting of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA).After the meeting, Director General of DGDA Mahbubur Rahman said, “Now there’s no legal bar to the import or use of this vaccine. If Bangladesh wants to purchase it, Russia will provide it next month,” he said.
“If everything goes well, this vaccine is expected to be available by May. In the first phase, 40 lakh doses will arrive,” he added.
The DG said the DGDA has a 12-member public health emergency committee which examined the efficacy of the vaccine.
The vaccine is around 91 percent effective against Covid and its emergency use has been approved considering all these things, he added.
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.
“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,” Mahbub 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, reports UNB.