Bangladesh has temporarily suspended the Covishield vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune. The Bangladeshi authorities took the decision after uncertainty over the vaccine supply given the deteriorating situation due to the second wave of the pandemic. Directorate General of Bangladesh's Health Services, General ABM Khurshed, issued a circular on April 25, stating that it will enable those who have already received the first dose to complete the procedure. Bangladesh has been waiting for two million doses of Covishield. The Bangladeshi officials had earlier said that they had paid in advance for the two million doses, reported The Hindu.
Dhaka, along with India's External Affairs Minister, S.Jaishankar, announced that Bangladesh had purchased the vaccine from the SII in March. The Covid Vaccine shots are procured in the country by Beximco Pharmaceuticals. Nazmuld Hassan, Managing Director of the firm, stated that if Serum does not provide vaccines, there would be a shortage of the second dose, reported Dhaka Tribune.
Earlier this year, India had given Bangladesh 1.2 million doses of the Covishield vaccine. According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), Bangladesh will receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine next month. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health also said, "China has told us that it will provide us with 600,000 Chinese Covid-19 vaccines as a gift."
According to the World Health Organization, Bangladesh has reported 10,952 Covid-19 deaths and has 742,400 confirmed cases. At least 7,423,274 doses of vaccines have been administered until April 25. Amidst the increasing cases in India, Bangladesh has closed land borders with India for a period of 14 days commencing from April 26. Air travel still remains suspended.