A Beximco official has ruled out uncertainty over the arrival of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 in Bangladesh after media reports suggested that India will meet its local demand before exporting the drug.
“We’re in touch with Serum Institute of India. We’ve spoken about this even today. We are certain that we will get the vaccine from India as per the contract,” Rabbur Reza, chief operating officer of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, told bdnews24.com on Monday.
On when the vaccine doses could arrive in Bangladesh, he said, “I can’t really tell when exactly we may get it. But as per our contract with Serum Institute, we will receive vaccine doses from the first lot within a month after its approval in Bangladesh.”
“We’ve submitted all necessary documents to the Directorate General of Drug Administration on Thursday. We’ll apply for the approval today,” he added.
Serum Institute of India (SII), the Indian maker of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine, said on Sunday it intends to concentrate on meeting India’s own immediate demand in the next two months before exporting to other interested countries.
Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla said in an interview with Reuters after the shot was approved for emergency use in the world’s second-most populous country, that exports might be possible after supplying the Indian government with an initial 100 million doses.
The Indian government just wants to ensure that “the most vulnerable people of the country get it first - I fully endorse and support that decision”, he said.
SII is still waiting to strike a formal supply deal with the Indian government, but is expected to do so in the coming days.