Chinese COVID-19 vaccine to be used on health workers: Secretary

The company has informed that it will initially conduct vaccine trial on 4,200 health workers of seven COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in Bangladesh

A small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine" sticker is held near a medical syringe in front of displayed "Coronavirus COVID-19" words in this illustration
A small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine" sticker is held near a medical syringe in front of displayed "Coronavirus COVID-19" words in this illustration Reuters
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A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Research and Development Co Ltd, a Chinese company, will be approved for use on the health workers of Bangladesh after getting its satisfactory results, Health Services Division secretary Abdul Mannan said on Tuesday.

Sinovac has filed an ‘appeal’ through icddr,b for conducting phase-3 clinical trial of the vaccine in Bangladesh and it is currently pending with the health ministry, Abdul Mannan said, reports news agency UNB.

The company has informed that it will initially conduct vaccine trial on 4,200 health workers of seven COVID-19 dedicated hospitals in Bangladesh, he said.

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Mannan said this after a meeting over the coronavirus vaccine at the health ministry.

The results of the vaccine will be available in six months after its use on people and during this time, the authorities concerned will talk to other countries to get vaccines from there, he added.

GAVI foundation, backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has listed Bangladesh and sought a representative at their next meeting scheduled to be held in September. So, some vaccines will be found through GAVI
Health Services Division secretary Abdul Mannan

It will be applied to health workers aged between 18 and 59 years, the secretary said.

Sinovac is a private company and the Chinese government has no connection with it.

Already, the company got success in its first and second phases of testing, said Mannan. “If the tests are successful, then it’ll be approved for conducting a trial on health workers in the country through icddr,b.”

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Directorate General of Drug Administration DG major general Md Mahbubur Rahman, additional secretary of Health Services Division Kazi Jebunnesa Begum, additional secretary (public health) Mostafa Kamal, Director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) professor Meerjady Sabrina Flora and four senior scientists of icddr’b, among others, spoke at the meeting.

‘Bangladesh gets priority’

Mentioning that Bangladesh will get priority for the vaccine, Mannan said: “GAVI foundation, backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has listed Bangladesh and sought a representative at their next meeting scheduled to be held in September. So, some vaccines will be found through GAVI.”

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A number of companies are currently conducting vaccine trials. Although some are promising, an effective vaccine is yet to emerge.

World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Monday that there is no silver bullet for a vaccine against COVID-19 pandemic.

There might never be, he told a regular press briefing in Geneva.

He said a number of vaccines are now in phase-3 clinical trials, and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection.

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