After over seven months of suspension, the government of India has resumed exporting corona vaccines to Bangladesh.
A total of 10 lakh doses of Covishield vaccines has arrived in Dhaka on Saturday. A flight carrying the vaccines from Mumbai via Dubai reached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
According to the Health Ministry officials, of the 10 lakh doses, five lakh will be administered immediately and the rest will be kept in stock for the second doses.
India halted vaccine export in March following deadly spikes in Covid-19 deaths and cases in the country afterwards putting Bangladesh's vaccination campaign in jeopardy.
In November 2020, Bangladesh's Health Ministry signed a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding with the Serum Institute of India and Beximco Pharmaceuticals of Bangladesh to import three crore doses of Covishied vaccine, which has been developed by SII in collaboration with Oxford University and AstraZeneca under technology transfer.
As per the deal, SII was supposed to deliver the vaccines over a period of six months – 50 lakh a month, officials said. The first consignment of 50 lakh doses of the vaccine arrived in Dhaka on January 25 and the second batch of 20 lakh doses arrived here on February 22. India halted vaccine supply afterwards putting Bangladesh's vaccination campaign in jeopardy.
According to the official sources, the SII has enhanced the manufacturing capacity of Covishield to more than 20 crore doses per month and has informed the Indian government that it will be able to supply around 22 crore doses in October.