Bangladesh will receive 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine 'Covishield' as a gift from India on January 20.
Citing the letter by the Indian High Commission written to the Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dhaka Tribune reported that a special flight from India carrying the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, locally manufactured by Serum Institute of India, would land at Shahjalal International Airport on January 20.
The Health Services Division under the Ministry has issued a letter to the drug regulator the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) to take appropriate steps to administer the vaccine.
The vaccines will be received and stored at DGHS' facilities, such as the Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI), Dhaka Tribune further said.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said that additional storage for the COVID-19 vaccines will be provided by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
On January 8, Bangladesh had approved the procurement of 30 million doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine from India.
Bangladesh drug regulator Directorate General of DGDA had authorised Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited to import and distribute the COVID-19 vaccine from India. In the initial six months of the first phase, Beximco will procure five million vaccine doses per month, reported Dhaka Tribune.
An agreement was signed in November between the Bangladesh government and Serum Institute of India through which Beximco Pharma will avail 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last year during foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla's visit to Bangladesh, it was emphasised that Bangladesh will be a priority recipient for the COVID-19 vaccine developed in India.