Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has sought financial support from the United States, European Union and Marks and Spencer, a global retailer, to procure vaccines for readymade garment workers.
BGMEA president Faruque Hassan in separate letters to the US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller, EU Ambassador in Dhaka Rensje Teerink and M&S Country Director Shwapna Bhowmick made the call.
“Bangladesh government has been very supportive of providing us with the necessary vaccines, but the stock of available vaccine doses is the key issue in mass vaccination in the RMG sector,” said Faruque Hassan in the letter.
“Given the success of vaccination in factories, general vaccination programme and the process of App and Web-based registration and certification, we believe that Bangladesh is capable of successfully vaccinate the population if sufficient vaccines are available,” it said.
“The speed of vaccination, which is of dire essence for combating the Covid-19 pandemic depends on the availability of vaccines. We seek your help and assistance in procuring vaccines for RMG workers and people of Bangladesh, it added.
“With gratefulness, we acknowledging the vaccines already received from USA, but if any further excess vaccines can be granted or allocated to Bangladesh, it will help the RMG sector and Bangladesh tremendously, and save the life and livelihood of millions of people, said the business leader,” it further said.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh on July 19 began vaccinating workers from the export-oriented apparel industry.
The vaccination programme began at Gazipur, where some 10,000 workers from four factories received the vaccine in the opening phase.
So far, Bangladesh has received 2,12,45,000 doses from four vaccine makers of various countries.
Of these, 1,05,45,000 were Oxford-AstraZeneca, 55 lakh Moderna, 51 lakh Sinopharm and 1 lakh Pfizer vaccines.