Dhaka: Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram K Doraiswami has said that India would ensure that Bangladesh would get the COVID-19 vaccine ‘quickly’ and ‘urgently’ under his country’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy.
“The vaccine issue is everybody’s right and we will ensure the government here gets it quickly”, he told press persons on Saturday after attending the inauguration of the 19th International film festival in the capital.
The envoy conveyed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance that the vaccine will be provided for the benefit of everyone and Bangladesh will get priority.
“Bangladesh will get it urgently as you know we rolled out for 300,000 people today in India”, he said.
He added that the exact schedule will be communicated with the Bangladesh government soon.
“There is a time schedule, I will tell your government – not in the media”, he said.
Doraiswami assured that Bangladesh would be given first priority, “As soon as the (Bangladesh) government indicates everything is ready, we will work accordingly”, he said.
India’s vaccination drive, which is the world’s largest immunisation exercise against COVID-19, kicked off on 16 January with priority being given to about 30 million health care and frontline workers to be inoculated during the first phase.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had earlier this month approved the Oxford COVID-19 vaccine-Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.