The government would float international tender to buy COVID-19 vaccine, said Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research principal scientific officer ASM Alamgir of on Monday.
He said that they had already approached vaccine manufactures, including US drugs manufacturer Johnson and Johnson and Russian manufacturer of sputnik.
Alamgir made the statements at a webinar organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue.
Though he did not specify any time, he said that the tender would be floated as per the country’s procurement rules.
In January, the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council made upward revision of the COVID-19 Emergency Response and Pandemic Preparedness project to Tk 6,786.58 crore from Tk 1,127.51 crore to procure 3.4 crore doses of vaccine.
Officials estimated that about Tk 4,236.43 crore would be required for procuring, transporting and distributing COVID-19 vaccines among 3.44 crore people in three stages in the first phase.
Vaccination of 6.88 crore people out of the targeted 13.76 crore people will be completed in the second phase.
Alamgir said that they had over 700 cold-chain management units, capable of meeting the maintenance criteria of vaccines so far invented globally.
He said that they did not have adequate dozes for vaccinating the targeted number people.
He hoped that withdrawal of export ban imposed in March by India would enable them to resume import of the vaccines from the country.
India has reportedly put a temporary hold on all major exports of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Bangladesh has a purchase deal with Serum and its local vendor Beximco Pharma to get three crore doses of the vaccine by June.
Serum has provided 70 lakh doses in two shipments in January and February.
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