Kovacs to provide 40 per cent vaccination: Health Minister

Health Minister Zahid Malek said 20 per cent of the country’s population would be vaccinated against coronavirus by December under CoVAX and another 40 per cent would be vaccinated soon.

He made the remarks in a statement after a meeting with World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanam Gabriasus in Geneva, Switzerland, on Friday afternoon local time.

A statement from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Saturday quoted Health Minister Zahid Malek as saying.

In a statement, the health minister said, “In the first phase of the talks, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) has promised to send vaccines to 20 per cent of the country’s people under CoVAX facilities in Bangladesh by December.”

“After requesting vaccinations for 40 percent of the country’s population, the director general of the World Health Organization has agreed to send vaccines for 40 percent of the population in phases,” he said.

He said work on purchasing coronavirus vaccines from Kovax, an international platform for global vaccine delivery, would continue.

Bangladesh has already given the first dose of vaccine to 33.7 million people. Of these, 16 million have taken the second dose.

During the meeting, the Health Minister highlighted Bangladesh’s success in vaccinating against coronaviruses and highlighted the success of two large-scale successful vaccine campaigns.

Of these, more than 6 million people have been vaccinated across the country on September 26 and about 70,000 people, both public and private, have taken part in the campaign, said Health Minister Zahid Malek.
The statement said that he had assured the Minister of Health that he would take up the matter with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) if requested to receive more Pfizer and Modern vaccines under CoVAX.

The Health Minister said that in the important bilateral meeting, the Director General of the World Health Organization also assured technical assistance for vaccine production in Bangladesh.

He also said that instructions would be given to expedite the process of accreditation of the ‘Vaccine Testing Capacity of the National Control Laboratory’ of the Department of Drug Administration.

The meeting was attended by the Director General of the World Health Organization, Jawad Mahjur, Assistant Director General of Emergency Preparedness and International Health Regulation, and Bruce Illward, Senior Adviser to the Director General of Organizational Change.

Health Minister Zahid Malek was accompanied by Additional Secretary of the Health Services Department Kazi Jebunnesa Begum, Private Secretary to the Health Minister Kamrul Hasan, Deputy Secretary Sadequl Islam and Health and Family Planning Officer of Dhaka’s Tejgaon Health Complex Mofizul Islam Bulbul.

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