Bangladesh on Thursday received 2 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine "as a gift" from India, the Foreign Ministry said.
Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami handed over the vaccines to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque at a ceremony in the capital Dhaka.
The vaccine, known as Covishield in India, is being mass produced by the Serum Institute of India.
Another 5 million doses are expected to arrive by Jan. 25 as part of a tripartite agreement between the Bangladeshi Health Ministry, the Serum Institute, and the Dhaka-based Beximco Pharmaceuticals for a total of 30 million doses.
While Momen thanked New Delhi for the goodwill gesture, Doraiswami said India handed over the doses as part of its commitment to neighborhood first policy.
Mass inoculation in Bangladesh is expected to begin in the first of week of February, with frontline and health care workers to be prioritized.
The South Asian nation of 165 million people has also signed up with COVAX, a global initiative led by the World Health Organization for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
The ministry is developing a mobile application to conduct the registration process for the government-run COVID-19 vaccination program.
Bharat Biotech for Covaxin trials in Bangladesh
Meanwhile, India’s Bharat Biotech is willing to conduct trials in Bangladesh for Covaxin, its coronavirus vaccine recently approved for emergency use at home, Anadolu Agency has learnt.
The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh has applied to run the trials, an official concerned said on the condition of anonymity.
The locally produced vaccine was approved despite the absence of conclusive data on its efficacy.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.