US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller on Thursday said Bangladesh may get the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from his government at the same time with India.
He made the comment at a meeting with Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen in the ministry, said a press release.
Foreign Minister Momen underscored at the meeting that Bangladesh immediately needs around four million doses of vaccine and the US government may consider providing some 20 million AstraZeneca vaccines to Bangladesh from its stock.
Ambassador Miller said although the US is yet to provide any Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine to India, his government is sincerely working on the proposal. He said it is difficult to predict any time frame at this moment.
Dr Momen also called on the US Ambassador to address the difficulties being faced by a large number of Bangladeshi student visa applicants.
He expressed concern as many may lose admission and scholarship due to the delay at the US Embassy visa interview.
Earl R Miller said due to the lockdown situation, many interview slots had to be cancelled, and assured to do the best to ensure that all student visa applicants get interview slots on a priority basis once the lockdown is over.
Foreign Minister lauded US President Joe Biden's recent announcement to enhance the admission of refugees in the US to 62,500 in 2021 and 125,000 in 2022.
Dr Momen stated that the US may consider accepting a good number of forcibly displaced Rohingyas in Bangladesh for filling up a large portion of these new numbers.
He also expressed optimism that the US, the largest humanitarian donor for the humanitarian operations for the forcibly displaced Rohingyas camped in Bangladesh, would continue to provide necessary assistance for Rohingyas including those now settled in Bhashan Char.
The US Ambassador informed that during the upcoming launch of the annual Joint Response Plan (JRP) on 18 May in Geneva, the US is expected to pledge again for a large contribution to the humanitarian operation for Rohingyas.
Foreign Minister also welcomed US President Joe Biden's declaration to support Intellectual Property Waiver for vaccines in the WTO and expressed optimism that this would enable developing countries, including Bangladesh, to produce US vaccines in the near future.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister and the US Ambassador also discussed the ways and means of bolstering bilateral cooperation. They especially emphasised the area of climate change adaptation and mitigation including possible mutual engagement before and during the COP26 of the UNFCCC.