A consignment of 1.2 million (12 lakh) doses of Covid-19 vaccine reached the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Friday as a gift from India after the arrival of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.
Speaking to Prothom Alo, additional director (administration) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), professor Nasima Sultana said, “The officials of Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EMI) received the consignment of vaccine and it has been preserved in the government storehouse.”
Bangladesh has received a total of 3.2 million (32 lakh) doses of Covid-19 vaccine as a gift from India. Earlier in January, India sent 2 million (20 lakh) doses of Oxford’s Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh as gift.
India’s Serum Institute is producing the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca.
Meanwhile, the stock of coronavirus vaccine in the country is decreasing rapidly. However, the suppliers are saying that the vaccine will arrive in due time.
There is a purchase agreement among the government, Serum Institute and Beximco Pharmaceuticals on coronavirus vaccine.
According to the agreement, Beximco will supply the vaccines to the government from Serum Institute, five millions each month.
A total of 30 million (3 crore) doses of Covid-19 vaccine is scheduled to arrive in six consignments.
Beximco supplied 5 million doses of vaccine in January. They supplied 2 million in February, but another 3 million of vaccine doses were due. The month of March is ending and the persons concerned still cannot confirm when the vaccine will arrive.
Till last Thursday, a total of 5.13 million people had been vaccinated with the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine by the DGHS. For administering these people with the second dose, an equal amount of vaccine will be needed.
Till yesterday, the DGHS had a stock of 5.6 million of Covid-19 vaccine doses including the newly arrived 1.2 million from India which means, it will not be possible to provide the second dose to some 78,912 people until a new consignment of vaccine arrives. Meanwhile, it has been reported in the media that India has temporarily postponed the export of Covid-19 vaccine.
Nobody is speaking clearly about the arrival of the remaining doses of covid-19 vaccine from India. A day before yesterday, Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director (planning and development) of DGHS, told Prothom Alo, “We are hopeful about getting the Covid-19 vaccine in time. We do not have any information that we would not get the vaccine as per the agreement.”
The public relation department of Beximco told Prothom Alo on Friday that the remaining vaccine will arrive in due time.