It is possible to produce Corona vaccine in the country within 6 months

Senior Correspondent,, Dhaka
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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The only way to deal with the deadly coronavirus is to get vaccinated and follow hygiene rules. In densely populated Bangladesh, it is difficult to follow and adhere to hygiene rules. Therefore, experts believe that there is no alternative to vaccinating a large number of people. But to bring most of the people of the country under the corona vaccine, it is not enough to just sit for help or import from abroad.

In this context, experts have suggested the production of vaccines in the country. Moreover, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has emphasized on the production of vaccines in the country without relying on the import of vaccines. She has already given necessary instructions in this regard.

The Ministry of Health and concerned departments are working as per the instructions of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Two committees were formed to implement the vaccine production activities. One is the Covid-19 Resistant Vaccine Production Advisory Committee. The Minister of Health and Family Welfare has been made an advisor to this committee. Besides, members of the committee include Senior Secretary of Health Services Division, Director General of Health Directorate, VC of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University and Managing Director of Essential Drugs Company Ltd (EDCL).

Besides, a 9-member technical committee has been formed. The committee has been convened by the director general of the health directorate. Besides, other members are: Director General of the Directorate of Drug Administration, Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Additional Secretary (Public Health) Division of Health Services, Director of IEDCR, Director of the Directorate of Health (Planning and Research) Line Director of the Directorate of Health (MNC&H), Dean of Dhaka University Pharmacy department Dr. Abdur Rahman and MD of Essential Drugs Company Ltd is member secretary.

Business of the two committees is to take steps for effective and safe vaccine production in the country, review the proposals and make recommendations to the government, make efforts to increase the country's capacity in vaccine production, quality control at production, storage and user level.

Health Minister Zahid Maleq said the process of making vaccines domestically needs to be expedited with the approval of various agencies as well as before confirming from which country it will import the raw material and finish it at the domestic production center. Some medicine preparation equipment has already been installed in the EDCL building. In that case, in order to make the corona vaccine, it is necessary to consider the transfer of the equipment to another safe place.

Scientist Sanjan Kumar Das said it is possible to store vaccines made inside steel-made infrastructure. 10,000 square feet of infrastructure is enough to land a field and finish. It may take 3 to 6 months to install the fill and finish equipment.

Responding to a question from the Minister, he said that by changing the existing infrastructure of EDCL, it is possible to build a vaccine manufacturing infrastructure there within six months and there are many skilled students in different universities of the country who can be employed to bottle the vaccines.

As per the decision of the committee, it has been decided to set up Phase-1 Formulation Field Finishing and Packaging Unit to provide effective and safe vaccine to the government as a short term measure to start vaccine production activities. It has been decided to implement the work by including the vaccine production unit in the Gopalganj project which was revised by RDPP.

In the next six months, the necessary equipment and materials for the vaccine will be imported from Europe, America and Japan and other Asian countries including China, South Korea and Taiwan. The draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU has been prepared with the aim of signing a MoU with the US company M / S Dyadic for the import of ‘raw material’ for vaccine manufacturing and technology transfer. In addition, discussions are underway to develop a protein vaccine discovered by Russia's Sputnik V and Oxford University. In order to produce the vaccine, estimates have been made initially by contacting various foreign equipment manufacturing and supply companies.

In consultation with experts, consultations have been taken with various engineering institutes for setting up of steel infrastructure in a short period of time and setting up of necessary equipment to set up vaccine production units and steel infrastructure will be constructed accordingly. The vaccine can be stored in the cold room of the manufacturing plant at a temperature of 2 to 8 degree Centigrade on the advice of experts.

The issue of vaccine production was also discussed at a meeting of the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday (October 13). If the third wave of corona strikes again, it is suggested that the vaccine be produced quickly.

After the meeting, committee member Muhibur Rahman Manik told over his mobile phone, "Corona is under a lot of control due to the direction and determination of our Prime Minister." Bangladesh is the first in South Asia. Even though we are 26th in the world, we don't want a single person to die. Since the third wave has appeared in many other countries of the world, we are apprehensive. That is why it has been said that if the third wave comes, we have to get prepared in advance. People have been asked to take necessary steps to quickly produce the vaccine and apply it to humans.

He added that the Health Minister had informed the committee that it would be possible to bring 7 crore people under vaccination by December. Although there was a lot of criticism at the beginning of Corona, we are in a much better position because of the right decision of the Prime Minister at the right time.

The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Chairman of the Standing Committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The meeting was also attended by Health Minister Zahid Maleq, Dr. AFM Ruhul Haque, Muhibur Rahman Manik, Mohammad Ekramul Karim Chowdhury, Md. Abdul Aziz, Syeda Zakia Noor, Rahgir Al Mahi Ershad and Md. Amirul Alam Milon.