Bangladesh, finally, gives nod for human trial of China vaccine

By Gautam Lahiri

Aug 27, 2020

New Delhi/Dhaka: Finally, Bangladesh has approved final or phase-3 human trial of a prospective COVID-19 vaccine by China’s private Sinovac Biotech Ltd after putting it on hold for some times.

Just after the visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Bardhan Shringla, Health ministry got approval from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to go ahead with the trial as they think ” it appears to be a forerunner in a global race for developing inoculates against coronavirus.” The Chinese company has recently made a huge factory for mass production in the Wuhan Provence which was the epicenter of the Virus spread all over the world.

The India Government has not commented so far on this issue but without refering to Bangladesh Government’s approval, Spokesperson of MEA Anurag Srivastav, replying to a question on the recent visit of Indian Foreign Secretary to Dhaka said, “the vist was useful and many issues including coopearion in Covid Vaccine was discussed.

Sources pointed out that after the visit of Mr Shringla, Bangladesh Foreign Ministry had issued a press release where they mentioned about cooperation on Covid vaccine.The release said,”during the one and half hour discussion both sides discussed the wide ranging areas of ongoing bilateral coopeartion, with particular focus on ways to address issues arising out of Covid-19 situation. The Indian Foreign Secretary reiterated that Bangladesh comes first in India’s neighborhood policy.”

It also mentioned that Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen stated that Bangladesh was ready to collaborate in the development of Covid Vaccine, including its trial. The Indian Foreign Secretry heighlighted the cost advantage that India enjoys due to its economic of scale in manufacturing.”

In India the phase –III trial has just started and India never ried to have human trial in foreign country. But Bangladesh has decided to go with human trial with Chinese vaccine. Health Minister Zahid Maleque brifing journalists in Dhaka said, “We have given an approval to human trial for COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac in Bangladesh after examining all necessary research protocols.

The Health Minister said as Chinese company Sinovac has showed interest in carrying out human trial of COVID-19 vaccine in Bangladesh, relevant government organizations have examined all necessary aspects including effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.

He described COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac as one of most potential vaccine candidates in the world, saying the company (Sinovac) has already started trial in Indonesia and they are franticly working to begin vaccine trials in many countries including Turkey.

“We’ll get one lakh vaccines for free… and Bangladesh will get priority to purchase adequate numbers of vaccines from the Chinese company. We’ll also extend all necessary cooperation to Sinovac for finishing their trial to contain the deadly virus,” he added.

On July 19, 2020, Bangladesh’s regulatory Medical Research Council (BMRC) extended “ethical approval” for final or phase-3 human trial of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

Appreciating the Chinese company Sinovac for including Bangladesh in human trial of COVID-19 vaccine, he said there are a lot of beneficial sides of vaccine trial in Bangladesh.

“If the human trial is successful, Bangladesh will apply the vaccine quickly against the coronavirus,” Mustaq added.
He opined when Bangladesh will import COVID-19 vaccine from any country, it needs to be examined for its efficacy and safety issue.

—India News Stream