China’s Sinopharm vaccines boost vaccination drive in Bangladesh

People queue up to receive Chinese COVID-19 vaccines outside a vaccination center in Chandpur, Bangladesh, Sept. 7, 2021. (Xinhua)

DHAKA, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — People lined up in long queues to receive the Chinese Sinopharm jabs outside a COVID-19 vaccination center on Tuesday morning in Bangladesh’s Chandpur district, as the inoculation of the second doses started in the area.

“Chinese Sinopharm vaccine doses are being given here through our union Parishad. People are very much satisfied with the first doses of the Chinese (Sinopharm) vaccine,” said Md Billal Hossain Patwari, chairman of Chandpur’s Ashikati Union Parishad, the smallest rural administrative and local government unit in the country.

A medical worker prepares a dose of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine in Chandpur, Bangladesh, Sept. 7, 2021. (Xinhua)

The vaccination drive is also running smoothly elsewhere in the country thanks largely to China’s continued support.

To fight against the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases, Bangladesh has signed an agreement on the co-production of the Chinese jabs locally.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between China’s Sinopharm Group, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Incepta Vaccine Ltd., a local vaccine manufacturing company last month.

Bangladesh began the COVID-19 vaccination drive in January to contain the pandemic that has spread across the country.

A man shows his COVID-19 vaccination certificate outside a vaccination center in Chandpur, Bangladesh, Sept. 7, 2021. (Xinhua)

Amid uncertainty over the timely arrival of vaccine shipment from India, the Bangladeshi government later halted administering the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In June, the vaccination drive resumed in parts of the country with the China-donated Sinopharm vaccines.

The resurgence in COVID-19 cases since June prompted the government to impose a strict lockdown from July 1 to Aug. 11.■