DHAKA rejects Chinese Corona vaccine co-financing request

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PRO China lobby in Bangladesh has suffered a jolt after the Sheikh Hasina  Government rejected PRC’s offer to co-finance the phase 3 trial of the Corona vaccine being developed by the Chinese company Sinovac Biotech. Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said that co-financing was not in the agreement and the company never asked for money when they approached the Bangladesh government. The Minister said that Sinovac had agreed to bear all expenses and give 1.10 lakh free vaccines to the country, reports Reuters. They had also agreed to share the technology with Bangladeshi pharmaceutical companies to make the vaccine.  Zahid Malequ said that Bangladesh is in talks with at least five frontrunners for the vaccine including AstraZeneca. The Chinese company Sinovac Biotech had originally put up the proposal for phase 3 trial of the COVID 19 vaccine to Bangladesh through the Dhaka based International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh  Government granted final clearance for the clinical trial on August 27. The request for co-financing was made later by the Chinese vaccine company. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson became the second company after AstraZeneca to halt the Covid-19 vaccine trials. Last month, Oxford vaccine trials were halted after one of the participants in the UK developed an “unexplained illness”. Johnson & Johnson, however, said it was a “study pause” and not a “regulatory hold”. AstraZeneca, which has jointly developed a vaccine with Oxford University, has resumed late-stage trials except in the US after the September adverse event. The results of phase three trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine being conducted in India could be available by “end-November-early December”, raising hopes that the leading anti-Covid candidate — manufactured in India by the Serum Institute — may be available sooner than expected.
The government’s view of a possible time-line came even as it warned that large gatherings during the upcoming festival season could become “super-spreaders” of Covid-9 infection and urged that use of masks, social distancing and hand wash be followed rigorously, says The Times of India. Image courtesy: youtube

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