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Sources: India's Serum to sell AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh at $4/dose

  • Published at 08:48 am January 12th, 2021
File photo: AstraZeneca's logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020 Reuters

Serum has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of the vaccine

Serum Institute of India will sell the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Bangladesh at $4 a dose, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, about 47% more than India will pay for its inoculation campaign.

The pricing for Bangladesh, the world’s eighth-most populous country, provides a first glimpse of what it will cost other low- and middle-income countries that are seeking to secure the vaccine developed by British drugmaker AstraZeneca with Oxford University.

Bangladesh, a country of more than 160 million people, in November signed a preliminary agreement to buy 30 million doses of the shot from Serum - the world’s biggest vaccine maker by volume.

Also read: India signs purchase order with Serum for AstraZeneca vaccine

A Bangladeshi government official told reporters on Monday that the first batch of the vaccine, which Serum calls Covishield, should arrive in the country by January 25 so that inoculation can start early next month.

One of the sources said the price for Bangladesh would “eventually average out to $3” per dose, without giving details. All the sources declined to be named ahead of an expected official announcement by the Bangladeshi government.

Bangladesh’s health minister and the health secretary did not answer calls to their mobile phones late in the day.

Serum, which has stockpiled 50 million doses of the vaccine in India, has signed an initial deal to sell 11 million of the shots to the Indian government for 200 rupees ($2.72) per dose. ($1 = 73.4720 Indian rupees)

The rate for India is lower given the massive demand for vaccines in the country of 1.35 billion. Indian regulators have already approved Covishield for emergency use.

Serum has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of the vaccine for supply to lower-income countries. Brazil is expecting at least 2 million doses from Serum.

Bangladesh has so far reported 523,302 Covid-19 cases, including 7,803 deaths. 

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