Bangladesh signs MoU with India for 30 million doses of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine

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As per the MoU, Pune-based SII will provide Bangladesh with 30 million doses of University of Oxford's Covid-19 vaccine candidate 'Covishield' through Bexmico Pharmaceuticals.

SII, Bangladesh govt and Beximco Pharmaceuticals officials signing the MoU in Dhaka on Thursday

SII, Bangladesh govt and Beximco Pharmaceuticals officials signing the MoU in Dhaka on Thursday (Photo Credits: Sahidul Hasan Khokon/India Today)

Bangladesh government on Thursday signed an MoU with Pune-based SII and Bexmico Pharmaceuticals to procure 30 million doses of 'Covishield'. The Covid-19 vaccine candidate is being developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India (SII).

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to that effect was signed by officials from Bangladesh's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, SII and Bexmico Pharmaceuticals in Dhaka on Thursday. The MoU talks about 30 million doses of the University of Oxford's coronavirus vaccine candidate 'Covishield' for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Health Minister Zahed Maleque, Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Vikram Doraiswami and Managing Director (MD) of Beximco Pharmaceuticals Nazmul Hassan Papon were present during the event in Dhaka.

As per the MoU, Serum Institute of India will provide the Covid-19 vaccine to Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

"Once the vaccine is developed, the Serum Institute will provide 30 million doses of vaccine in the first phase, and BPL will bring it to Bangladesh. Including the cost of delivery will cost 5 US dollars per dose 425 in Bangladeshi currency," Bangladesh Health Minister Zahed Maleque said.

Minister Maleque added, "We would be able to provide the vaccine to 1.5 crore people once it's available in Bangladesh as two shots of vaccine are needed for one person."

Developed by the University of Oxford, Covishield is undergoing Phase-2 of clinical trials. The CEO of SII, Adar Poonawalla said earlier this week that chances are that the trials will complete by December 2020.

However, Poonawalla said it is too early to comment on the vaccine's availability.

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