• MARCH 28, 2023
Beximco MD says

Second shipment of Covid vaccine to arrive Feb 22

Nazmul Hassan Papon Collected

  • National
  • Staff Correspondent
  • Published: 16 Feb 2021, 10:49 AM

Some 2 to 3 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Bangladesh on February 22, said Nazmul Hassan Papon, managing director (MD) of Beximco Pharmaceuticals. Papon came up with the information while talking to reporters after getting a shot at Kurmitola General Hospital.

"No initiative has been taken yet to bring the Covid-19 vaccine under private management as everyone is getting the vaccine free of cost. So, there is no need to bring the vaccine under private management now," he said. He also urged people to get vaccinated.

The second consignment of vaccine will arrive under the agreement Bangladesh signed with the Serum Institute of India (SII) through Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. to procure 30 million doses of Covishield.  

On January 25, Bangladesh received the first consignment of 5 million doses of Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII). The vaccine doses were imported from India by the government through Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.  On January 21, Dhaka received 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine as the Indian government sent the jabs as a gift to Bangladesh. 

In November last year, the government of Bangladesh, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, and Serum Institute of India (SII) entered into a tripartite agreement to buy 30 million doses of Covishield, SII's brand name for the vaccine developed by Oxford University and British-Swedish pharma giants AstraZeneca.

Under the agreement, the Bangladesh government will pay SII for the 30 million doses of the vaccine while Beximco Pharma will receive a separate fee for its distribution role. Beximco Pharma is the exclusive distributor of the vaccine in Bangladesh and will be responsible for maintaining the cold chain, import, storage, and delivery of the vaccine.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine was proven to be safe with no major side-effects reported throughout human trials. It generates strong antibody and T-cells response for long-term immunity against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

In June 2020, SII signed an agreement with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and GAVI to produce 1 billion doses of AZD1222 under the brand name Covishield, mainly for supply to developing countries.

Coronavirus vaccination in Bangladesh 

The government launched a countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7. Doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine that Bangladesh brought from India's Serum Institute have been sent to hospitals across the country to make the inoculation drive a success.

Physicians and nurses have been trained to carry out the vaccination drive. So far, top government officials, Cabinet members, judges, policemen, along with general people, have received the vaccine.  After the first dose, the second one has to be taken within 8 to 12 weeks.

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