The government is likely to stop administering the first dose of coronavirus vaccine in the country as India temporarily suspended all exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
"The halt of India's Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine export will have a detrimental effect on our vaccination programme. We may have to stop giving the first doses of the vaccine and start giving the second doses from 8 April," Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General (DG) Prof ABM Khurshid Alam told media on Thursday.
"We hope there will be no problem in continuing the first dose. But we need to keep enough vaccine in stock for the second dose," ABM Khurshid Alam told The Business Standard.
The health DG further said, "Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will bring 12 lakh doses of vaccine as gift tomorrow during his Dhaka."
The DG also said the vaccine supplier Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited has not officially informed the government regarding the vaccine supply halt yet.
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As per a deal with India's Serum Institute and Beximco, the Bangladesh government was supposed to get 50 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine every month. Bangladesh received two shipments of 70 lakh doses so far. And India gifted 20 lakh doses of the vaccine.
Bangladesh has already administered over 50 lakh doses, out of 90 lakh doses, till date.
Earlier, India last night announced to halt all exports of the coronavirus vaccine.
Indian Foreign Ministry sources told the BBC that the rising cases meant domestic demand was expected to pick up in the coming weeks, and so the doses were needed for India's own rollout.