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Bangladesh to get ‘contractual supplies’ of Covid-19 vaccine from India soon

  • Published at 08:52 pm January 22nd, 2021
India vaccine
An official displays a vial containing Covidshield, a coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, in Ahmedabad on January 12, 2021 Reuters

India to continue supplying vaccines to partner countries in phases, says Ministry of External Affairs

Bangladesh will get the first consignment of “contractual supplies” of Covid-19 vaccine “Covishield” from India soon as the country on Friday allowed commercial export of the vaccine to fight the pandemic.

“India will continue to supply Covid-19 vaccines to partner countries over the coming weeks and months in a phased manner … Contractual supplies are being undertaken to Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Morocco and Myanmar,” said Official Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava on Friday evening.

Responding to a volley of questions from media including Bangladesh’s national news agency BSS during the virtual media briefing, he, however, said the supply would be continued keeping in view of the domestic requirements of the phased rollout.

In terms of quantities and types of vaccines, he said the supplies abroad on G-to-G, G-to-B and B-to-B basis would be based on availability and regulatory approval in the countries concerned since there was interest in many countries in access to vaccines from India.

When asked whether Pakistan had made a request to India to get the vaccine supply, he avoided to give a direct reply saying that he was “not aware of any request for the supply of Indian made vaccines to Pakistan on a G2G basis or commercial basis”.

Also read - India's vaccine diplomacy in South Asia pushes back against China

On vaccine cooperation, he said among the neighbouring countries, India has so far supplied 2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bangladesh, 1 million doses to Nepal, 150,000 doses to Bhutan and 100,000 doses to the Maldives as grant assistance on Thursday.

Besides, he said that consignments of 1.5 million doses for Myanmar and 50,000 doses for Seychelles are being airlifted.

Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla told media that the first consignments of “Covishield”, developed by UK-based drug maker AstraZeneca and Oxford University, will be shipped to Brazil and Morocco.

The Indian government had held off exporting doses until it began its own domestic immunization program on January 16.

“Commercial supplies of the vaccine would begin from Friday in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment that India’s production capacities would be used for all of humanity to fight the pandemic,” he added.

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