The Ministry of Health has formed a committee to look into the possibility of making Covid-19 vaccine in the country. The committee is considering the capacity of Essential Drugs Company Limited (EDCL), the only government-owned pharmaceutical company in Gopalganj.
The committee includes Director General of the Department of Medicine Administration, Director of the Institute of Pathology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), two nominated representatives from the Department of Health and a Deputy Secretary (Public Health).
Two members of the committee said on Saturday that they would look into the possibility of producing vaccines at the government level. In this case, they will pay special attention to the capacity of EDCL, the only pharmaceutical company of the government.
On June 16, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the National Assembly that the government has taken initiative to sign an agreement with South Korea to build an international standard immunization institute in the country. The matter is in the process of ratification and approval in the cabinet.
The health minister said, China and Russia have been offered to jointly develop vaccines in the country. Public or private companies that have the capacity to make vaccines will be approved.
At one time the government institution Public Health Institute used to make vaccines. The director of the institute recently officially informed the ministry that they do not have that capability now. Privately, three organizations can create vaccines. However, another committee set up by the government assessed that an organization has the capacity to make corona vaccines.
The issue of vaccine production in the country has become important in the discussion as there is a lot of uncertainty about buying vaccines from abroad and getting adequate vaccines from Covax.