Source: Dhaka Tribune
The Serum Institute of India has assured Beximco Pharma that Oxford's Covid-19 vaccines will be delivered to Bangladesh on time
The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from the Serum Institute of India (SII) will arrive on time, an official of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd has said, ruling out uncertainties following media reports that India has barred export of the vaccine.
“We hope to get the vaccine as per the agreement,” Beximco Pharma's Chief Operating Officer Rabbur Reza said on Monday.
“We are in constant touch with them. We have spoken with Serum (Institute of India) even today. They have assured us,” he added.
Responding to a query on India barring export of vaccines, Reza said: “Serum Institute has already received requests for vaccines from some 70 countries. But they want to give priority to Bangladesh.”
SII will produce around two billion doses of vaccine, he said. “We need 30 million doses. That’s nothing compared to that.”
Reza further said the contract between the two neighbouring countries stipulates that Bangladesh will receive the first shipment of vaccine doses within a month after it approves it.
"Beximco Pharma submitted all necessary documents to the Directorate General of Drug Administration on Thursday,” he added.
After the UK authorized the vaccine on Wednesday, India’s drug regulator on Friday approved the vaccine for emergency use. It is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for emergency use by India, which has the highest number of infections after the United States.
The Serum Institute of India (SII), the Indian maker of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine, said on Sunday that it intended to concentrate on meeting India's own immediate demand in the next two months, before exporting to other interested countries.
The ban on exports, however, means that Bangladesh will probably have to wait a few months before receiving the first shots.
In November, Bangladesh signed an agreement with the SII and Beximco Pharma to avail 30 million doses of the vaccine.
In the initial six months of the first phase, SII is supposed to provide five million vaccine doses per month to Bangladesh through Beximco.