Covid-19 vaccine supply and procurement affected by global politics: Foreign Minister
DOT Desk: Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen is skeptical if procuring vaccines would be smooth at all, saying that bilateral cooperation is not the only deciding factor, but there are issues of global politics affecting vaccine supply.”We have discovered with awe and disappointment that global politics and affluence-power nexus have the overpowering dominance in the global society,” he said at a webinar yesterday.
 Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) organised the event titled ‘Revisiting Contemporary Peace and Security Challenges in the South Asian Region’ attended by diplomats, academics, and government officials.
 Momen said due to the sudden spike of Covid cases in neighboring countries, South Asia must receive their share of the vaccines without any strings attached. “In addition, we demand Covid vaccines to be a public good, and its technology should be shared and available to all countries to produce it at an affordable price.”
Bangladesh is currently struggling to get vaccines since India halted the export of AstraZeneca vaccines in February after the Serum Institute of India supplied only 7 million of the 30 million contracted.
The country then initiated imports from China and Russia while requesting the UK, US, Canada, and Australia for help. China has independently gifted 11 lakh doses of Sinopharm, and the US has thus far contributed 1 lakh 600 Pfizer doses under Covax.
At the webinar, he said the pandemic illustrated that political leaders, scientists, and citizens cannot operate in isolation during health crises; rather, health emergencies must be viewed as global security crises that require coordination and cooperation among all stakeholders.
He called for stronger regional and international cooperation to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, and for the subsequent rebuilding phase.