DHAKA, Bangladesh

The first commercial consignment of one million doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccines reached Bangladesh Saturday night, according to officials sources.

A team of top Health Ministry officials received the shipment at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the capital Dhaka.

Earlier, on social media, Hualong Yan, deputy chief of mission at the Chinese Embassy in Bangladesh, said: “The first batch of 1 million doses of commercial purchase [of] Sinopharm vaccines departed Beijing International Airport.”

He also confirmed that the second batch of another one million jabs would leave China later in the evening.

Bangladesh’s government signed a deal with China to purchase 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the company Sinopharm.

The South Asian country of nearly 165 million people has already received 2 million doses of commercial supplies from China, while Beijing also donated 1.1 million jabs.

The US is also set to soon give Bangladesh 3 million more doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Referring to an initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, US Ambassador in Dhaka Earl R. Miller said on Twitter Saturday: “Pleased to announce another gift of 3 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine coming to Flag of Bangladesh from the American people via COVAX.”

“The US is committed to increasing the country’s vaccine supply to beat the pandemic here and worldwide,” Miller added.

Bangladesh is currently going through a critical course of the pandemic, with average daily fatalities crossing the 200 mark for the last couple of days.

The country recorded 204 fatalities in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally to 17,669, while 8,489 new cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours, surging the total caseload to above 1.9 million.

In the country’s mass vaccination drive, so far more than 11.1 million jabs have been given, including both first and second doses, while more than 10.6 million people have registered for the shots.

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