Bangladesh Rejects Chinese Covid-19 Vaccine Trials

The clinical trial of an experimental Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech in Bangladesh is now uncertain as the health ministry refused to co-financing the initiative as requested by the Chinese drugmaker.

Sinovac Biotech Ltd in a letter on September 24 said the trial would be delayed unless the government provided funds, although the company was supposed to bear the costs as per an agreement, The Daily Star reported.

BDnews24 quoted Health Minister Zahid Maleque as saying that Sinovac should run the trial with their own money because that’s what they said they would do when they had sought approval.

“(And) that’s why they were given permission,” he said.

“A country’s job is done when it approves the clinical test of a vaccine. They never asked for co-funding when they sought approval for the trial. This is not a contract we have with the Chinese government. This is a private company and we cannot have a co-funding (arrangement) with a private company.”

According to sources, it is gathered that around Taka 60 crore was the expenditure for conducting the trial on 4,200 volunteers.

The Health Minister has emphasised that Bangladesh will get the Sinovac vaccine, even if the trial does not go ahead as planned.

“We can buy the vaccine if it is approved. Sinovac will work with the WHO and it will provide different countries with the vaccine. We will also get it,” Maleque said, adding that Bangladesh will also get early access to the vaccine and it will collaborate with India on developing it. (ANI)

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