Officials of the Directorate General of Health Services in a view exchange on Wednesday said that Bangladesh would get 68 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Vaccine Alliance Gavi under a global arrangement within 2021.
The first consignment of the vaccines is expected to arrive in Bangladesh in February, they said.
Bangladesh has to pay out the Gavi COVAX Vaccine price in co-financing manner, said the officials.
Cost for each shot of the vaccine from Gavi arrangement has been estimated at $1.62 to $2.
The officials said that before getting the vaccines, Bangladesh health directorate would submit the National Vaccine Deployment Plan on COVID-19 vaccination as per the condition set out by Gavi.
‘Those, who will submit the National Vaccine Deployment Plan first, will receive the vaccine supply first,’ Shamsul Haque Mridha, director of the Expanded Programme of Immunization, told the view exchange with journalists at the health directorate.
‘Hopefully, we will submit it on the first day Gavi will start accepting the guideline,’ he said.
Bangladesh sent an official Expression of Interest to Gavi on July 9, 2020, and the Vaccine Alliance accepted it on July 14, 2020.
On September 18, Gavi sent a letter to prime minister Sheikh Hasina announcing Bangladesh’s eligibility to get the vaccine.
The 68 million COVID-19 vaccines (two doses for each) to be supplied by Gavi are expected to cover 20 per cent of Bangladesh’s population.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, Gavi is the Vaccine Alliance, which brings together public and private sectors with a shared goal of creating equal access to vaccines.
Gavi was created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries. Gavi has observer status at the World Health Assembly.
Gavi vaccines will be an addition to the 30 million vaccines Bangladesh set to import from Serum Institute of India.
Bangladesh’s health ministry on November 5 signed a tripartite contract with Serum and local pharmaceutical company Beximco Limited to import the vaccines to be developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca.
Shamsul said that although the trial of the Chinese vaccine company Sinovac has been postponed they are still in touch with other providers.
Meanwhile, two Bangladeshi institutes have stated their desire to host the 3rd Phase Clinical trial of Sanofi and GSK’s protein-based vaccine, he added.
Professor Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director general of the DGHS, said if more vaccines were needed after receiving the prescribed 20 per cent vaccine from Gavi then the vaccine would have to be purchased at an extra price.
‘We are planning to purchase 40 per cent of the vaccine from Gavi,’ she said.
‘A vaccine company from India, Sanofi and another one company are contacting us for a trial. Sanofi’s trial work has progressed a lot. We are working on how to get the vaccine out of the trial,’ she added.
DGHS director general ABM Khurshid Alam chaired the view exchange, attended by top officials of the health directorate.
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