‘Bangladesh a role model in Covid vaccination’
Bangladesh has become a role model for lower- and middle-income countries in administering Covid jabs to its population, said US Deputy Coordinator for the Global Covid-19 Response and Health Security Laura Stone.
In an interview with The Daily Star, she said Bangladesh should take a leading role in the key phases of the global pandemic.
"We think that Bangladesh has a very important voice and a model for an effective response," she said during her two-day visit to Bangladesh.
Laura said Bangladesh is a great example of a country that administered over 70 million vaccines that the US has donated.
"Our request to Bangladesh is to learn from this experience to become a global leader in health security," she noted.
We want to encourage Bangladesh to take a leadership role in this key phase of the global pandemic and also in the future through health reform and building health architecture.
Saying the pandemic is difficult to predict and the world is still experiencing the impact of Covid-19, the high official of the state department revealed that a global action plan was developed with partner countries to look at how to handle the crisis in the short and long terms.
She said the global action plan included mass vaccination, dealing with all the medical countermeasures related to Covid -19 smoothly and equitably around the world, addressing misinformation and disinformation gaps, supporting health care workers, expanding access to testing and treatment, and building sustainable and effective global health security architecture.
"We want to encourage Bangladesh to take a leadership role in this key phase of the global pandemic and also in the future through health reform and building health architecture," said Laura.
She opined that the world should take notes from the Covid-19 crisis to tackle future pandemics.
Saying the next pandemic can be very different from Covid-19, she added that all the countries should be prepared by prioritising their health sector by establishing new infrastructures and institutions.
When asked whether the US will give vaccines to Bangladeshi children, she said, "We have already delivered 1.5 million vaccines in this regard. We would be very open to donating more vaccines to the people of Bangladesh through Covax."
When asked about vaccine discrimination, Laura said that there is no issue regarding the availability of vaccines.
"There are more factors other than the availability in countries that have poor vaccination rates," she claimed.
"Lack of trust in vaccines, hesitancy and apathy are to name a few."
Hoping that Bangladesh-US cooperation will continue in the coming days, the state department official said. "It's the 50th anniversary of US-Bangladesh relations and the relationship is incredibly diverse."