20 lakh Covid-19 vaccines from India as ‘gift’ Jan 21

Published: 19 Jan 2021     Updated: 19 Jan 2021

Online Desk

The Indian government will provide 20 lakh doses of Oxford-Astrazenca Covid-19 vaccines (Covishield) to Bangladesh as ‘gift’ on January 21.

A senior official confirmed it UNB on Tuesday afternoon.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday said Bangladesh will receive the first consignment of Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine on January 25-26.

"As per the guideline of WHO, we will vaccinate those first who are working with risks. And elderly people will get more priority. Prople below the age of 18 will not get the vaccine, " the minister said.

The minister was addressing "Meet the Reporters" event at Dhaka Reporters Unity.

"ICT department is developing an " app" to provide vaccine properly," he also said.

Zahid Maleque said the government is also discussing with Russia, China and others for collecting more vaccine.

The minister also said they have already trained up 4200 people to push the vaccine properly. " We have also made a high powered national committee and also made a list of those who will get the vaccine first. Every journalist will get the vaccine as they work with risk," he also said.

The government on Decenber 13  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 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.

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