Govt production of Covid-19 vaccine will be delayed further: health ministry
Production of Covid-19 vaccine under the government initiative will be delayed further, health ministry informed a parliamentary body today.
The parliamentary standing committee on the health ministry has strongly recommended that Essential Drugs, a government-owned company, take measures to produce Covid-19 vaccines within the next one year so that all citizens can be brought under vaccination as soon as possible.
Earlier in August, the parliamentary watchdog asked Essential Drugs to take measures to produce Covid-19 vaccine through a process known as fill-finish within the next six to nine months.
Fill-finish, or fill and finish, is the final manufacturing step in the overall drug manufacturing process.
In the pharmaceutical industry, fill and finish is the process of filling vials with the vaccine and finishing the process by packaging the medicine for distribution.
For long-term planning, the parliamentary body also recommended to produce Covid-19 vaccine through transforming of technology from the vaccine producing companies and to carry out clinical trial on human body, if necessary.
The parliamentary body today in its meeting at the Jatiya Sandsad Bhaban asked the health ministry to avoid bureaucratic tangle while carrying out the job of producing Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the sources of the parliamentary committee, the health ministry presented a report on the progress of the vaccine production process in today's meeting.
In the report, the ministry said Essential Drugs has so far held three video conferences with Diadic, a US drug company, to import raw materials and technology of Covid-19.
A draft was prepared to sign memorandum of understanding with the organisation. Discussions are also underway on producing 'protein vaccine' invented by Oxford University and Sputnik-V, manufactured by Russia.
The health ministry further informed the parliamentary committee that efforts are being made to set up vaccine production units in consultation with experts by constructing steel infrastructure and installing necessary equipment in a short period of time.
The advice of various engineering and technology institutes were also taken in this regard.
After the meeting, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, chairman of the parliamentary committee, told reporters that a project proposal would have to be prepared to make arrangements for vaccine production.
He also said a consultant will have to be appointed and the country from where raw materials and equipment will come will have to be fixed and these tasks will take some time.
"Under these circumstances, the parliamentary committee has now recommended to ensure producing of the vaccine within next year. The infrastructure will be built within six months. The committee told the ministry that there should be no bureaucratic complications or delay in this work," Selim, also a ruling Awami League MP, said.