Md Abdul Mannan, secretary to the Health Services Division under the Ministry of Health, today said China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd has applied for government permission to conduct the third phase of a Covid-19 vaccine trial at seven hospitals in Bangladesh.
The company expressed its eagerness to conduct a trial of the vaccine on around 4,200 health workers of seven dedicated Covid-19 hospitals in Bangladesh, Mannan told the press after a meeting held at his office in Dhaka this noon.
Alongside this, the government remains alert about vaccines being manufactured by different countries and institutions around the world, including the Oxford University in UK, the health secretary said.
Mannan said that having been enlisted in Bill Gates's Gavi Foundation will help Bangladesh in getting the vaccine.
The foundation has asked for the presence of a Bangladeshi representative at its next meeting, to be held in September, Mannan said and added that after being manufactured, some vaccines may quickly come to Bangladesh through the foundation.
A health ministry press release said that six companies around the world are working on a vaccine. Even if the Sinovac vaccine trials run properly, it will take at least six months to get the vaccine ready for use in Bangladesh, experts present at the meeting said.
The vaccine will be administered to health workers aged between 18 and 59 and if the trial is successful, it can be open to everyone, the experts added.