Bangladesh Has Spent $2.3B on COVID-19 Vaccines, Govt Says

Kamran Reza Chowdhury
Bangladesh Has Spent $2.3B on COVID-19 Vaccines, Govt Says A health worker fills a syringe with a COVID-19 vaccine in the Korali slum area in Dhaka, Feb. 7, 2022.
[Sabrina Yesmin/BenarNews]

Bangladesh has spent U.S. $2.3 billion to acquire COVID-19 vaccines since last February and has fully vaccinated more than half of its total targeted population of 120 million people so far, health officials said Monday.  

The health minister had been under pressure from politicians and journalists to reveal figures for the government’s expenditure in vaccinating the population against the virus.

“Over 20,000 crore taka (200,000 million taka) has been spent to procure vaccines,” Zahid Maleque, the health minister, told reporters after a cabinet meeting Monday.

According to the health directorate, Bangladesh has administered COVID-19 vaccines produced by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, and China’s SinoPharm and Sinovac. More than 65 million people have received two doses of the vaccine and 100 million people have received one dose, the directorate said.

In both categories, more people have received Chinese-made vaccines. Around two million people in Bangladesh have also received booster doses.

Still, one health expert said he was not pleased with the current rate of vaccination in the South Asian country.

“I do not want to focus on the money spent because procuring vaccines has been a challenge. But my point is whether the government can keep its promise of vaccinating all people by April,” Professor Nazrul Islam, a former chief of virology of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told BenarNews.

“We see that over one-third of the total population have been vaccinated so far. This is not satisfactory at all. The mismanagement of the vaccination caused the delays,” he said.

Using apps to schedule the jabs has caused problems, Mushtaq Hossain, a former chief scientific officer at the government’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IECDR), told BenarNews.

“Making the provision of vaccination through apps caused the delay as a huge number of people do not have smart phones and many people do not know the use of smartphone,” Hossain said.


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