The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) does not have enough Covid-19 vaccines to provide the people with the second dose.
The DGHS has issued a letter to the higher echelons of the government to expedite the import of vaccines from India as per the deal, officials of DGHS and Extended Immunisation Programme (EPI) confirmed the matter to Prothom Alo.
Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the DGHS, told Prothom Alo on Saturday evening, “We have sent a letter to the higher authorities to bring the rest of the vaccines from India.”
The letter was sent to the principal secretary of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the foreign ministry and the Bangladesh high commission in Delhi.
The Serum institute of India is producing the Covid vaccine invented by the scientists of Oxford. The Bangladesh government has bought 30 million doses of Covid vaccines from Serum Institute. Beximco Pharmaceuticals are supplying the vaccines.
There is a purchase agreement among the government, Serum Institute and Beximco. According to the agreement, Beximco will supply the vaccines to the government from Serum Institute, five millions each month. Beximco supplied 5 million of vaccine doses in January and two million in February. The persons concerned still cannot confirm when Beximco Pharmaceuticals will supply the rest of the vaccines as per the agreement.
Shamsul Haque, director of Maternal, Neo-natal and Child Health Programme of the DGHS, told Prothom Alo that the first dose of coronavirus vaccine will be given till 5 April. The second dose of the vaccine will be given from 8 April.
*This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ashish Basu