A consignment of five million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca ‘Covishield’ vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) will arrive from India today.
This will be the first consignment of the 30 million doses of ‘Covishield’ purchased from India. Bangladesh would get the vaccines in six phases as every consignment will carry 5 million vaccine doses per month.Talking to reporters on Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said 50 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine, purchased from India's Serum Institute, will reach Dhaka on Monday.
“The Indian government already has given us 20 lakh vaccines as a gift. As per the agreement, another 50 lakh vaccines will arrive in the country tomorrow. The government has already taken all preparations to store the 70 lakh vaccines,” he said on Sunday.
A special flight carrying the 5 million Covishield vaccine doses is scheduled to reach Dhaka at around 1:30 pm on January 25, sources said.
Claiming that the Covishield vaccine is most effective in the world, Zahid Maleque said the health service team will remain ready to provide support if any side effect is found after giving the vaccine.
“Telemedicine service will also be available to observe the situation after giving the vaccine,” he added.
Mentioning that the government will not give the vaccine forcibly to anyone, the health minister said everyone can receive the vaccine independently as per their desire.On December 13, an agreement was signed for purchasing 30 million COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.
Under the agreement, Bangladesh government will buy 30 million vaccines from the Serum Institute of India through its local vendor Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited.
On November 5, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for collecting three crore vaccine doses from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. The MoU was signed among the Bangladesh Government, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and the Serum Institute of India (SII).
On 21 January, Bangladesh received two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a gift from India, with the country planning to begin its mass vaccination early February.
The health ministry said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the country's vaccination programme through a video conferencing on January 27 as a nurse will receive the vaccine on the first on the day at Kurmitola General Hospital in the capital. Later around 25 frontliners will receive the vaccine on the same day.
Around 400-500 frontliners including doctors and nurses will be given the vaccine in Kurmitola General Hospital, Mugda General Hospital, Kuwait-Bangladesh Maitree Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) on January 28.
The first vaccine receivers will remain under observation for seven days to see if there is any side effect, the ministry said.