6cr more Sinopharm dose purchase okayed
Chinese Sinopharm and Incepta Pharmaceuticals of Bangladesh will sign an agreement next week for the coproduction of the Sinopharm Covid vaccine in Bangladesh.
‘An agreement for co-production with Sinopharm will be signed next week,’ foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen told New Age on Wednesday. the deal, which is expected to be signed on August 16, Sinopharm will send the vaccine manufactured in its plants in China for bottling and distribution by Incepta Pharmaceuticals in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the cabinet committee on government purchases on Wednesday approved the procurement of six crore more doses of the Covid vaccine from Sinopharm of China through a direct purchase method.
The decision was made in a meeting with finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal in the chair. He said that the committee approved a proposal from the Directorate General of Health Services in this connection.
While responding to a question, the finance minister said that the price of the vaccine could not be disclosed because of conditions attached to the agreement.
He, however, added that the price of the vaccine would be less than the amount mentioned during the previous agreement.
Additional secretary Shamsul Arefin of the Cabinet Division said that six crore doses of the vaccine from Sinopharm were expected to arrive in the country in November.
China dispatched 1.77 million more doses of the Sinopharm Covid vaccine for Bangladesh on Wednesday under Covax-WHO mechanisms.
Chinese deputy chief of mission in Bangladesh Hualong Yan said that an Emirates flight was on the way with the consignment from Beijing for Dhaka.
China on Tuesday provided 1.7 million doses of Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh under Covax-WHO mechanisms.
The arrival of 1.77 lakh doses Sinopharm will raise delivery of the Chinese vaccine to Bangladesh to about 1.16 crore doses.
The finance minister also presided over a meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs on the same day and approved another proposal from the DG Health to buy PCR test kits, Antigen test kits, VTMs with swab sticks, PCR lab consumables, CPAP and BiPAP machines through direct purchase method ‘because of time constraint’.
The DG Health signed a deal with Sinopharm International of China to but 1.5 crore doses of the vaccine with a single dose costing $10, an additional secretary of cabinet division who was later made officer on special duty made the disclosure after a meeting of the cabinet committee on purchase on May 27.
On July 14, the DG Health signed a supplementary deal with the same Chinese company to buy around 13 lakh doses of the vaccine at a price less than the previous one.
The supplementary deal allows the DG Health to buy more Covid vaccine doses in future, if needed, at the same low price, according to the finance minister.
The DG Health has calculated that 27.64 crore doses were needed to vaccinate 80 per cent of the country’s population.
So far, the country could collect 2.72 crore doses through purchase and as aids.
The supply of three crore doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from Serum Institute of India under a purchase deal has remained stalled after the government of India imposed a ban on the export of the coronavirus vaccine since last March.
Bangladesh had received only 70 lakh doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Indian company before the ban.