In India and neighboring countries, the number of Coronavirus victims has broken records in recent weeks. After India, citing its difficult situation, stopped exporting vaccines produced on its soil in April, a serious shortage of vaccines developed in countries of the region.
Bangladesh, with a population of 168 million, currently has nearly 1 million doses of the vaccine – produced by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and the Chinese company Sinopharm – and about 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine are expected to enter the country soon. According to the government, all of these vaccines will be used within days.
Thirty million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine could have arrived from India as originally planned, but only seven million of them were shipped before India stopped exporting the vaccines. Therefore, the Dhaka government has contacted China and Russia to get the Coronavirus vaccines from there, and is also trying to negotiate with the western countries that have unused stocks of AstraZeneca.
Meanwhile, China’s ambassador to Dhaka, bdnews24, a local news portal, has reported that China may offer vaccines to Bangladesh in December at the earliest because many other countries are already waiting for Chinese vaccines.
In Nepal, around 1.5 million people are waiting to receive the second dose of AstraZeneca, but it is becoming uncertain due to the halt of deliveries in India. They are currently vaccinated with Sinopharm, but their supplies are running out.
Sri Lanka, with a population of 21 million, currently has 115,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the vaccination campaign has slowed to an average of 15,000 people per day. The authorities say they are negotiating with several countries to compensate for the loss of vaccine shipments. It was originally expected to obtain 13.5 million doses of AstraZeneca from India.
In Sri Lanka, the Sinopharm group containing 600,000 doses is now in use, and they hope to receive a total of 26 million doses of the vaccine from Russia and China in the future.
Cover photo: Getty Images
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