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5 lakh doses of Chinese vaccine to arrive Wednesday: envoy

10 May 2021, 5:14:14

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Li Jiming today said Beijing will send 5 lakh doses of Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday as a “special gift” for Bangladesh.

“In view that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc on people’s lives and disturbing social and economic activities in Bangladesh, the 500,000 doses of vaccine arrive just in time,” he said at virtual discussion organized by Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) here.

The envoy added that it is the latest outcome of China-Bangladesh anti-pandemic cooperation, which again shows that “Our two peoples are in the same boat and we will stand with each other till the end of this battle”.

He said China and Bangladesh have stayed in touch regarding vaccine cooperation, including clinical trial, bilateral assistance, commercial purchase and local production, some of which will materialize very soon.

Noting that the Sinopharm vaccine has already been recognized and used in over 50 countries and regions globally for quite some time, the ambassador said this is a new vote of confidence in China’s vaccines cast by the world.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for this vaccine to be rolled out globally.

The envoy also termed the Bangladesh government’s decision to give emergency use authorization to Sinopharm vaccine a week prior to the WHO’s clearance as far-sighted.

“It shows the faith put in China by Bangladesh, and it will surely mean a lot to our future cooperation,” he added.

The Chinese envoy said the vaccine is recommended for adults aged 18 and older, and WHO did not indicate any upper age limit for use as data suggests that the vaccine is likely to have a protective effect in elder persons.

According to clinical statistics provided by Sinopharm and the evaluation of the WHO, the efficacy rate of the vaccine is estimated to reach 79%, all age groups included.

The Sinopharm vaccine is produced by Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co Ltd, subsidiary of China National Biotec Group (CNBG). He said there is a high demand of Chinese vaccines and it will take time to get vaccines through commercial purchase.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, the ambassador said Bangladesh and China have come a long way in the common fight against the pandemic.

“We will never forget that when China was hit the hardest by the virus, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a letter of condolence to President Xi Jinping on February 13, 2020, and then directed the Foreign and Health Ministries of the Bangladeshi government to donate medical supplies badly needed in China,” he said.

DCAB President Pantho Rahaman and General Secretary AKM Moinuddin also spoke.

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