Tuesday, 5 July, 2022
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Corona Vaccine Purchase

Bangladesh not keen on Serum

The Bangladesh government is no more interested in receiving AstraZeneca vaccine from Serum Institute of India, as it has already had a large number of coronavirus vaccines from various sources, including COVAX.

“At this moment we don’t need to bring any more vaccines from the Serum Institute, as we’ve already collected a huge number of vaccines from other sources including COVAX,” Prof Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director general (planning and research) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun.

In November 2020, a tripartite contract was signed between the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and Serum Institute of India (SII) for importing 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca.

According to the agreement, the Serum Institute, the largest manufacturer of vaccines in the world, was scheduled to supply 30 million doses of vaccine – 5 million per month.

Later in December the same year, the Bangladesh government had signed the vaccine procurement contract with the Institute.

The government procured the vaccine via local drug producer, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the sole supplier of Serum's vaccine to Bangladesh.

Each dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine cost US$5 and each person was administered two doses of vaccine.

The Indian vaccine manufacturing company had supplied 7 million doses – 5 million in January, 2021 and 2 million in February.

However, later the Indian company had postponed supplying the vaccine as there were not enough vaccines to meet local demand. Bangladesh The country has so far got 10.2 million doses of vaccine, including 3.2 million from the Indian government as a gift.

Talking to the Daily Sun, Additional Secretary (Public Health Wing) of Health and Family Welfare Ministry Syed Mojibul Huq, said, “We’ve got vaccine shots as much as we paid to the Serum Institute of India,”

Bangladesh began nationwide mass vaccination on February 7, 2021 and had started administration of second dose in April the same year.

The tripartite contract had expired in December, 2021.