Bangladesh will try to collect the Covid-19 vaccine from anybody who makes it first.
Health Secretary Md Abdul Mannan said this to the media, on Tuesday, at the secretariat.
"The icddr,b (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh) has applied for government approval for the third phase trial of the Sinovac vaccine in Bangladesh," the secretary said.
"We will study their application and let them know about the government office from which they would need to get the approval. Our main goal is not to lag behind for a day to get the vaccine," Abdul Mannan said.
Earlier, China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd applied for the Phase 3 trial of their Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh.
"Initially, the company said it would complete the trial among 4,200 healthcare workers at seven Covid-19 dedicated hospitals across the country," Abdul Mannan said during a meeting on the Covid-19 vaccine at the ministry on the same day.
"However, the government is also aware of other vaccines from other countries, including the one developed by the University of Oxford."
Also, the secretary told the press that Bangladesh continued to liaise not only with China but also with the organisations working on Covid-19 vaccine around the world.
"Although China has started a rapid trial of the vaccine, it will take six to seven months more to get the vaccine. Then, why should we just rely on Sinovac Biotech?" the secretary pointed out.
Abdul Mannan also said, "Bill Gates' Gavi Foundation has listed Bangladesh. They have asked for the presence of a Bangladeshi representative at their next meeting in September. So after a breakthrough in getting the Covid-19 vaccine, some vaccines will also come to the country through Gavi in advance."
Currently, six companies of the world are in the Phase 3 trial of the Covid-19 vaccine.
It may take at least six months for the Chinese Sinovac vaccine to be administered to the general population of the country even if the trials run properly, the scientific officers of icddr,b said at the meeting.
The vaccine will be given first to healthcare workers aged between 18 and 59, they added.
Also, experts present at the meeting said that after the Phase 3 trial, it can be made available for all.