According to the Bangladesh Department of Health, the Bangladesh government will deposit more than Rs 600 crore in the bank on Sunday to buy the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Seram Institute of India. In return the Serum Institute will give a bank guarantee.
The department said the money would be taken in advance by the Seram Institute, an Indian vaccine manufacturer. And the rest of the money will be given after the vaccine supply starts.
According to the terms of the agreement, if they cannot vaccinate by next June, they will get the money back in advance in Bangladesh.
Professor Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the health department, hopes that if all goes well, Bangladesh will be able to bring the vaccine in the first week of February.
The Indian government approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on Saturday. So Bangladesh went one step further in getting the vaccine from that vaccine manufacturer in India.
Earlier, the government of Bangladesh signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health, Seram Institute, a vaccine manufacturer in India, and Beximco Pharmaceuticals in Bangladesh to buy the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. This is being done in its continuity.
Professor Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the health department, said there are two aspects to any vaccine. One is to bring the vaccine to the country and the other is to bring it to the consumer level.
There are a lot of legal obligations about it, you know there are a lot of laws. However, the Hon’ble Prime Minister has given us approval so that it can be purchased directly.
Cold chains need to be maintained for storage after vaccination. That is why the department has entered into an agreement with Beximco Pharmaceuticals.
They (Beximco) will reach out to the depots at the district level which have the capacity to maintain the cold chain.
26,000 health assistants and assistant health inspectors will work across the country to vaccinate. They will start training in a few days.
Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam said, “We have been told to maintain the official procedures.” We will do those. We will act in accordance with the law.
Rabbur Reza, chief operating officer (CEO) of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, said the vaccine would be taken to two warehouses in Cold Chain Tongi after it was brought from India.
It will then be delivered to government approved warehouses. With this delivery, Beximco’s responsibility will end.
Then the distribution process will start, which will be under government management.
According to the agreement, Seram Institute will give three crore vaccines to Bangladesh in six months. 5 million vaccines will come every month. Source: BBC Bangla.