Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Multi award winning anti-militancy journalist

Bangladesh can overcome the vaccine challenges

A section of the media, as well as political opponents of ruling Awami League, are indulged into orchestrated propaganda centering COVID vaccines, clearly with the evil motive of generated fear and anger within the people. Meanwhile, a vested interest group is making foul bids in sabotaging Bangladesh’s ongoing negotiations with a number of vaccine-producing nations, again with the similar notorious agenda of pushing Bangladesh towards severe consequences with non-availability of vaccines and alarming rise in the number of new infections.

To every country in the world, vaccine is an extremely delicate matter, which needs careful handling. But, unfortunately, our ministers, instead of silently signing agreements with various countries and ensure the availability of vaccines, are rather competing in showing their faces to the media with pre-matured announcements. Such acts are actually going against government’s desire of arranging the required quantity of vaccines to vaccinate the people. At the same time, a section of media also is playing foul game with this matter. None are at all expected at this crucial moment. Such foolishness or naivetés of our ministers can only result in undesired catastrophe to the nation. Wish they would learn any lesson from their past blunders.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had committed the same blunder by unnecessarily boasting of being the “vaccine king”. He thought, Serum Institute can easily provide the required volume of vaccines to the nation. But now, he and his entire administration is practically rattling in not only managing vaccines from other countries, they also are witnessing horrific rise in COVID infection with shortage of oxygen and other facilities. Mr. Modi has pushed India towards a possible disaster, during the pandemic and afterwards. India is going to face acute economic crisis following by massive unemployment and poverty during the next several years. And these are the results of wrong policies of the government.

While many people are showing pessimism about Bangladesh succeeding in getting the required volume of vaccines, in my personal opinion, they are totally wrong. In fact, Bangladesh is getting and will continue to get vaccines, within a very short span of time.

Recently, the US ambassador to Bangladesh, Earl R. Miller has tweeted saying “Please to announce Bangladesh will soon receive a gift of 2.5 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the American people via Gavi (global vaccine alliance)”.

Ambassador Miller further tweeted: “As the largest contributor to COVAX, the US is committed to increasing the country’s (Bangladesh’s) vaccine supply to beat the pandemic here and worldwide”.

The COVAX is a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines directed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and the World Health Organization.

For this support, on behalf of Blitz editorial team, I would like to express wholehearted gratitude and thanks to the US President Joe Biden, his administration and the US ambassador to Bangladesh, Earl R. Miller.

Can we also expect from our friendly American administration to please send at least 30 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine immediately as according to reports, the US has 60-80 million AstraZeneca shots in stock?

Can we also hope, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his administration would please send us major portion of their unused vaccines, which they also have in stock?

As we learned from official sources, Bangladesh health ministry has been negotiating to purchase 150 million doses of Chinese vaccine and to import 5 million doses of Sputnik V COVID vaccine from Russia; we would like to humbly request China and Russia to actively consider immediately setting up vaccine manufacturing projects in Bangladesh, which would not only be used to meet the local requirements, but also can be exported to countries in the region and beyond. One of the many reasons behind setting up vaccine production plants in Bangladesh is our comparatively cheaper labor costs, which will help in significantly reducing the cost of the vaccines. I want to personally hope, our great friends, China and Russia will show their precious friendship towards the people of Bangladesh by immediately setting up vaccine production plants in this country. Through this opinion editorial, I am making appeal to Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In my journalistic career, I have been blessed with the precious friendship of China and Russia, and I do firmly believe, these countries will not abandon their old friend — Bangladesh, during this crucial time. I would also like to humbly request the members of Bangladeshi media to play positive role on vaccine issue.

God bless Bangladesh!

About the Author
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is a multi award winning anti-militancy pro-Israel journalist and editor of Weekly Blitz. Choudhury served rigorous imprisonment for 7 years for the "crimes" of confronting radical Islam and militancy; for denouncing anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial; for promoting interfaith harmony; and for advocating relations between Israel and Bangladesh. In 2005, Shoaib Choudhury received 'Freedom to Write' award from PEN USA, in 2006 prestigious 'Moral Courage Award' from American Jewish Committee, in 2007 'Monaco Media Award' from Prince Albert II, amongst many other awards and recognitions.
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments