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Bangladesh has approved emergency use of Russia manufactured Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V on Tuesday.

A committee formed by the health ministry gave the approval at a meeting of Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), paving the way for import and use of the vaccine in the country.

According to the government documents, Russia is able to provide Bangladesh the vaccine from May.

With this, two Covid-19 vaccines have got approval in Bangladesh. The authorities earlier gave an approval to Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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DGDA officials said any medicine, vaccine or medical equipment get approval in Bangladesh providing its approval by World Health Organisation (WHO) and seven countries -- USA, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, France and Switzerland.

Approval from WHO and these countries is considered as the touchstone of the efficacy of that medicine or vaccine. Special approval for the use of Russian vaccine was required as the vaccine is yet to get approval from WHO or these seven countries.

Earlier, chairman of pharmacology department of Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujibur Rahman Medical University (BSMMU) Sayedur Rahman told Prothom Alo that the Sputnik V vaccine is over 91 per cent effective accoriding to The Lancet findings.

He also said field research found the vaccine is more than 96 per cent effective. Millions of people in over 50 countries have used the vaccine. We cannot afford to wait for WHO approval as Bangladesh needs the vaccine immediately.

Mass inoculation drive in Bangladesh has been stalled after the halt in virus export from India.

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