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India hands over 2 million vaccine doses to Bangladesh

"India had stood by Bangladesh during the (1971) Liberation War, and today, when the pandemic is rattling the world, India again came with gifts of vaccines,” Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said as Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami handed him over the vaccines.

January 21, 2021 / 05:07 PM IST
Representative image

Representative image

India has handed over 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh under grant assistance, a senior minister said on Thursday.

The vaccines were given to Bangladesh at a crucial time when the number of coronavirus cases in the nation continues to rise and has reached 529,687 till Thursday.

"India had stood by Bangladesh during the (1971) Liberation War, and today, when the pandemic is rattling the world, India again came with gifts of vaccines,” Bangladesh foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said as Indian High Commissioner Vikram Doraiswami handed him over the vaccines.

Health minister Zahid Maleque joined the function during which Momen termed the New Delhi initiative as a proof of true friendship between Bangladesh and India.

Doraiswami said that India, in line with the discussions held during the virtual summit between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, delivered the vaccines within a week of their rollout in India.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Anti-coronavirus vaccination began in India on January 16.

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He said as part of India’s "Neighbourhood First" policy, his country accorded high priority to the India-Bangladesh relationship and the gift of 20 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine was in fact the biggest such dispatch by India to any of the neighbouring countries.

India has also handed over 1 million similar vaccines to Nepal.

On Wednesday, India sent 150,000 doses of Covisheild vaccines to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives.

India is one of the world’s biggest drugmakers, and an increasing number of countries have already approached it for procuring the coronavirus vaccines.

India has already rolled out a massive coronavirus vaccination drive under which two vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin, are being administered to frontline health workers across the country.

While Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield is being manufactured by the Serum Institute, and the Covaxin is being produced by Bharat Biotech.

The Ministry of External Affairs said it will be ensured that domestic manufacturers will have adequate stocks to meet domestic requirements while supplying abroad.

India had earlier supplied hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir and paracetamol tablets, as well as diagnostic kits, ventilators, masks, gloves and other medical supplies to a large number of countries to help them deal with the pandemic.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
PTI
first published: Jan 21, 2021 05:07 pm

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