A home grown vaccine on the way
A recent news report published in this daily is reassuring for the nation, especially when the entire word is grappling against the Covid-19 pandemic. Reportedly, the lone domestic vaccine Bangavax, being developed by a local company Globe Biotech is not far away from getting Bangladesh Medical Research Council (BMRC)'s green signal for human test.
Meanwhile, the vaccine under development, applied on rats and monkeys in phases, has already passed with satisfactory outcome. However, the BMRC wants the vaccine to undergo a final animal trial to become confirmed about its efficacy on other variants of the corona virus. Expectedly, Bangavax will pass the final animal test successfully to prove itself ethically fit for human use.
It will be a sigh of relief to find the home grown vaccine on board. After all, fewer countries have suffered as much as us because of the missing vaccine. Moreover, global politics emerged in the wake of nationalist creed of vaccine producing countries made us suffer a lot causing delay in timely and sufficient supply of vaccines.
Our experience in tackling the pandemic has not been a very good experience. We have seen more than once how the initiatives of mass vaccination programmes, began in February 1, faltered amid mismanagement, corruption and a mud-slinging game due to shortage of imported vaccines. Losing hundreds of lives to corona every day simply left a message of not only our helplessness to imported vaccines, but also the necessity of becoming self-reliant in vaccine production.
Besides, solely depending on imported vaccines is not only time consuming, but also a massive challenge to inoculate a nation of some 12o million vaccine eligible people. Not to mention, the country is so densely populated, it has hardly benefitted from non-therapeutic measures like social distance and lockdowns. The urgency of mass vaccination has been felt to the extreme here under the prevalent socio-economic system.
To meet the governments' target of inoculating 120 million people within couple of years would require 240 million doses of vaccine, certainly no piece of cake. As of October 12th, 2021 - a little over 37 million people in the country have been administered with the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine - while only 17.94 million have been provided with both doses. It suggests the country has a long way to go to reach its vaccination goal.
In this situation, the ray of hope Bangavax kindled, we believe is encouraging. It will not only help Bangladesh combat against the pandemic, of course will bring about a great relief to the world in tackling the deadly disease. We thank and wish success of the authority concerned to Bangavax whose relentless effort is holding our hope high.