The officials from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Beximco Pharmaceuticals and the Serum Institute of India signed a memorandum of understanding in Dhaka on Thursday.
Health Minister Zahed Maleque, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram Doraiswami and Managing Director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Nazmul Hassan Papon were present on the occasion.
“The long wait is about to end. They will sell 30 million doses of the vaccine to Bangladesh whenever it is ready. Beximco will bring in the vaccine and supply the doses to the health ministry,” the minister said. The ministry will store the vaccine in different depots. “We’ll be able to vaccinate 15 million people -- each requiring two doses. The second shot will be given 28 days apart,” Maleque said.
“They’ll be able to send five million doses of vaccine a month. According to the contract, an approval from the World Health Organisation is required.”
Beximco Pharma facilitated the connection between the Bangladesh government and the Serum Institute of India, said Papon.
British drugmaker AstraZeneca expects data from late-stage trials of the vaccine later this year.
The company has taken on the development of Oxford University's potential COVID-19 vaccine, scoring billions in funding and signing multiple deals to supply over three billion doses to countries around the world.
Data in October showed the vaccine produces an immune response in both old and young adults. AstraZeneca is expected to publish eagerly awaited late-stage clinical trial data in the coming weeks.
Expectations are that Britain could start rolling out a successful vaccine in late December or early 2021.