Govt likely to import three crore doses of coronavirus vaccines from India

The government is likely to import three crore doses of coronavirus vaccines from India’s Serum Institute, a top official of the health ministry confirmed to The Daily Star tonight.

Earlier in the evening, the ministry’s public relation official Maidul Islam said that there will be a signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard at 12:00pm tomorrow at the ministry.

He, however, didn’t disclose details of the MoU.

Contacted, Health Services Division Secretary Md Abdul Mannan refused to disclose anything saying, “Details will be shared with the media tomorrow at the MoU signing ceremony.”

A top official of the ministry seeking anonymity told this newspaper that each dose of the vaccine ‘Covishield’ will cost US $5.

A third party organisation will likely supply the vaccines to the government, sources said.

Pune-headquartered Serum Institute of India (SII) has an agreement with AstraZeneca to manufacture the Oxford University vaccine– the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine candidate.

The vaccine has been named Covishield in India and it could be ready as early as December, wrote The Indian Express on October 28.

In an interview with NDTV, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute, which is currently conducting late-stage trials in India, said the first batch of 100 million doses should be available by the second or third quarter of 2021.


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