Bangladesh has signed a deal with China to buy the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Saturday
Bangladesh has signed a deal with China to buy the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Saturday. China is also set to deliver 600,000 doses of the vaccine in a second consignment given to Bangladesh as a gift on Sunday, Dhaka Tribune reported.
The health minister disclosed the information during a programme at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Dhaka.
“The recent revelation of vaccine prices has created some issues. We have to maintain non-disclosure clauses strictly according to the deal,” the health minister said after disclosing the vaccine deal during a program at the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Dhaka.
The minister did not give the date of the deal, the price, or the quantity of doses.
On 27 May, the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase approved a proposal to buy 15 million doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.
During a briefing after the meeting, an official told reporters the authorities would purchase the vaccine at USD 10 per dose. The price disclosure created some confusion, as Beijing had said that Bangladesh would have to pay USD 15 per dose to buy the vaccine.
Health service division secretary Lokman Hossain Mia said: “Bangladesh will receive a second consignment of Covid-19 vaccines from China as a gift on Sunday.”
According to an Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR) press release, two Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) aircraft left Bangladesh for China to bring back the doses last night.
Bangladesh started its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program on February 7 by administering Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The country received seven million Covishield doses through a contract. Besides, India gave Bangladesh 3.3 million vaccines as a gift.
On April 25, the government suspended administering the first doses with Covishield, a day after India said no more vaccine doses would be shipped to Bangladesh anytime soon.