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Bangladesh likely to get India’s Covishield vaccine by Jan-end

Bangladesh likely to get India’s Covishield vaccine by Jan-end

Bangladesh, home to 160 million people, is likely to start its inoculation drive by next month as the Serum Institute of India is set to ship its Covid-19 vaccine, Covishied by the end of this month, the Daily Star reported.

Quoting a Bangladeshi government official, the newspaper said that the first batch of the vaccine “should arrive in the country by January 25 so that inoculation can start early next month.”

The Dhaka based Beximo Pharmaceuticals has already tied up with the Adar Poonawala-headed SII for supply of the vaccine to Bangladesh. In November last year, Bangladesh signed an agreement for sourcing 30 million doses of the jab.

SII is the manufacturer of Covid-19 vaccine Covishied which has been developed by British drug major AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The vaccine in Bangladesh is set to be priced at $4 a dose, higher than its India price according to a report carried by the newspaper. “The rate for India is lower given the massive demand for vaccines in the country of 1.35 billion,” the report said adding that eventually the price could drop to $3" a dose.

Meanwhile, India is gearing up to start its Covid-19 vaccination drive from January 16. Both Covid19 vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin– that have been approved for emergency use in India have started to be shipped to various destinations.

The health ministry said that 1.1 crore doses of Covishield and 55 lakh doses of Covaxin are being procured by the government in the first phase. The vaccines were approved by the drug controller earlier this month.

As many as 3 crore healthcare and frontline workers such as policemen will be inoculated in the first phase. The Centre has already uploaded data related to these recipients on the CO-WIN IT platform which will be used for the immunisation programme.

Officials said that Covid-19 protocol which include social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands would have to continue till the booster shot is administered..