Deal signed with India’s Serum Institute for Covid-19 vaccine


Dhaka, Dec 13: The government on Sunday signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited for procuring Covid-19 vaccine.

Under the deal, Bangladesh will import three crore doses of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine), (50 lakh in each month) from Serum Institute of India in the next six months.

Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, Director General (Health) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), and Nazmul Hassan Papon, managing director of Beximco, signed the agreement in presence of Health Minister Zahid Maleque in the city’s Mohakhali area.

The agreement paper will be sent to the authorities concerned of Serum Institute which has to be sent back by December 15 next.

“The government is procuring SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine) through Serum Institute and it’s proved safe during trial in different countries. It’s also suitable in our weather,” said the Health Minister.

In the first phases, the government is procuring three crore doses of the vaccine while the rest will be imported in phases within six months, he added. “If everything goes well, then we’ll get the vaccine in mid-January next.”

Apart from Astrazeneca, the government is discussing with other companies for procuring their Covid-19 vaccines.

On November 5, the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Serum Institute of India Pvt Limited and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) to get three crore doses of SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine).

Additional secretary to Health Service Division Mostafa Kamal and representatives from Serum Institute and Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited of Bangladesh signed the MoU at the Health Ministry in presence of Health Minister Zahid Maleque.

As per the MoU, Serum institute will provide SARS-Cov-2 AZD 1222 (Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine) to Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL).

The process to bring Oxford/Astrazeneca Vaccine will start in January next, said Zahid adding that a decision was taken in principle that Serum Institute will provide the vaccine at the same price they would procure.

Covid-19 in Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Sunday reported 32 more Covid-19 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the fatalities to 7,052.

Also read: Vaccine Race: India readies 100 million shots of Oxford vaccine for possible Dec drive

Also, 1,355 new cases were reported during the period, pushing up the country’s infection tally to 490,533.

The mortality rate, however, stood at 1.44%, said the Directorate General of Health Services.

So far, 420,896 patients – 85.80% – have recovered.

Bangladesh’s Covid-19 death toll crossed the 7,000-mark on Saturday. The country reported its first cases on March 8. And the infection number hit the 300,000-mark on August 26.

The first death was reported on March 18 and the death toll exceeded 6,000 on November 4. But it took only five weeks for the death toll to climb to 7,000 from 6,000.