January 17, 2021, 3:55 pm

Staff Correspondent

2020-12-02 16:01:36 BdST

Govt approves direct purchase of Covid vaccine

The Cabinet committee on Economic Affairs has approved in principle a decision to buy vaccine for Covid-19 on emergency basis following direct purchase system.

Dr Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal, additional secretary of the cabinet division, confirmed the media after the meeting today.

The government will procure the Covishield vaccine, developed jointly by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, from the Serum Institute of India through Beximco Pharmaceuticals.

In the first phase, Bangladesh will get three crore doses of vaccine from Serum.

The health ministry expects to receive 50 lakh doses every month from January 2021. Everyone will have to be vaccinated with two doses, meaning it will be possible to vaccinate 1.5 crore people in the first phase.

Health workers at the field level are preparing the list of vaccine recipients, and the Directorate General of Health Services is working in this regard.

The Ministry of Finance disbursed Tk736 crore to purchase vaccine from Serum Institute of India -- which will be supplied by local drug maker Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited.

Health ministry will spend the money for 50% payment of 3 crore doses of the vaccine, and to support other expenses such as procurement of cold chain equipment and safety boxes.

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