Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina receives Covid vaccine

Dhaka, Mar 4 (efe-epa).-Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday became the latest world leader to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, her office informed.

Hasina’s deputy press secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher confirmed that the prime minister had received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine nearly a month after the country started its mass vaccination campaign against the disease.

A handout photo released by the prime minister’s office showed Hasina receiving the vaccine flanked by her younger sister Sheikh Rehana.

Tusher said that Rehana had already received the shot days before Hasina.

Bangladesh had begun mass vaccinations against Covid-19 on Feb. 7 after Hasina inaugurated the process in late January.

The South Asian country is using the vaccine jointly developed by the Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma company AstraZeneca.

It has so far received nine million doses of vaccine: two million as a gift from India and another seven million through a purchase agreement between the vaccine’s regional producer Serum Institute of India and a local vendor.

Bangladesh authorities in November signed a tripartite agreement with the Serum Institute and its local partner Beximco Pharmaceuticals to purchase a total of 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

The country is also expected to receive 10,908,000 vaccine doses from Covax, a World Health Organization initiative to ensure Covid-19 vaccines reach the most disadvantaged countries, by May.

According to a statement of the Directorate General of Health Services, a total of 35,81,169 people have taken the jab so far, including 121,010 on Thursday.

Bangladesh has so far registered 5,48,549 confirmed cases of coronavirus, recording the third-highest caseload in South Asia.

The death toll from the virus on Thursday rose to 8,435, with seven new deaths reported within the past 24 hours, according to a health department statement. EFE-EPA


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