Dhaka pushes back; yet to take final call on use of Chinese vaccine on Covid patients

This statement is significant following Beijings decision to use Bangladesh as a laboratory. There are reports that China’s decision to conduct the last stage trial of coronavirus vaccine on the population of India's key neighbour Bangladesh is fa...

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According to a WHO summary of the state of vaccine development for COVID-19, there are 23 potential vaccines in human trials, with three of them in or starting large-scale late stage, or Phase III, trials to test efficacy.
NEW DELHI: Dhaka on Wednesday stated that it is yet to take a final call on use of Chinese vaccine for Covid patients notwithstanding Beijing’s move to conduct last stage trial of coronavirus vaccine on the population of Bangladesh

Addressing a press meet in Dhaka on Wednesday Bangladesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Malek said, "The government will decide in consultation with the National Technical Advisory Committee whether or not the Chinese vaccine will be implemented in the country. The government is also keeping an eye on the effectiveness of vaccines in different countries. The government will take such a decision which will be good for the country. ”

This statement is significant following Beijings decision to use Bangladesh as a laboratory. There are reports that China’s decision to conduct the last stage trial of coronavirus vaccine on the population of India's key neighbour Bangladesh is facing pushback from within.


Sections of the local establishment and medical facility in Dhaka are of opinion that Bangladeshis are being used as guinea pigs, ET has learnt. The use of vulnerable population for vaccine trials by the world’s second biggest economy has been questioned by locals even as Chinese envoy to Dhaka has volunteered to be part of the trial.

Instead India and Bangladesh as close neighbours should conduct joint medical research with India to develop vaccines.

Well known Chinese firms Sinopharm and National Biotec are eyeing this possibility of human trials to be conducted on 40,000 persons with the help of Communist Party of China, ET has reliably learnt.
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ET has gathered that China is taking advantage of Covid to exploit developing and least developed countries across sectors from pharma to trade.

Earlier Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC) approved the last stage trial of coronavirus vaccine by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd. “Our National Research Ethics Committee (of BMRC) has approved phase-3 clinical trial of Sinovac’s (prospective) COVID-19 vaccine," BMRC director Mahmood-Uz-Jahan had recently said.

The BMRC official said the regulator kept in consideration “Bangladesh’s benefit" alongside prospect and safety issues of the vaccine, studying the advancement of the Sinovac’s research in China, while reviewing the ICDDR’B proposal.

"We have also reviewed the headway of Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine development process...we have found they made potential advancements though the trial is still underway in China," he said. Dhaka-based International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDR’B) had submitted a research protocol, seeking to carry out the study.
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Jahan, however, said the BMRC approval would require a subsequent endorsement from Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Directorate General of Drug Administration. But ICDDR’B officials said they still awaited a formal agreement with Sinovac.

BMRC officials had earlier said the clinical trial would be performed on healthcare professionals in the designated seven hospitals as they are frontliners.
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According to a WHO summary of the state of vaccine development for COVID-19, there are 23 potential vaccines in human trials, with three of them in or starting large-scale late stage, or Phase III, trials to test efficacy.
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