The government is trying to procure vaccines from other sources
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that the Serum Institute of India (SII) will refund the money paid by Bangladesh if they fail to ensure the supply of the Covid-19 vaccine.
He said this while replying to questions from reporters virtually after chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) on Wednesday.
He said: “Discussions, as well as negotiations, are still going on with them [SII].”
“Once the government comes to know about their final stance regarding vaccines, then the decision in this regard will be taken,” Kamal said, adding that the government would definitely get back the money from Serum Institute if they fail to provide the vaccines as per the agreement.
The finance minister said contractual obligations are there for both the parties while the contractual obligation in this regard for Serum Institute is to provide vaccines to Bangladesh.
Replying to another question, he said that the Serum Institute of India (SII) is yet to tell Bangladesh that they would not be able to supply the rest of the committed vaccines.
He told reporters that the government is trying to procure Covid-19 vaccines from other sources which are acceptable and safe.
“We’re not at all dependent on a single source for vaccines (Covid-19). The issue is very important as it’s associated with the lives and livelihood of people……we’re also trying to bring such vaccines from those companies of the world which are acceptable and do not have any apprehension,” he said.
According to the tripartite agreement between the Bangladesh government, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, and Serum Institute of India, Bangladesh received five million doses of Covid vaccines in the first phase and two million in the second phase.
As per the agreement, Serum Institute was to supply five million doses every month. The Indian government had sent 3.3 million doses to Bangladesh as a gift. So far Bangladesh received a total of 10.3 million shots from India.
The country needs as many as 260 million doses of vaccines to cover it's 80%–130 million- of population.