Bangladesh will purchase 15 million doses of Sinopharm Covid vaccine from China at a rate lower than that was set in an earlier deal, the finance ministry said on Thursday.
The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase cleared a health ministry’s new proposal on the purchase at a virtual meeting chaired by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
Bangladesh earlier received two million doses of vaccine as a gift from China, according to the proposal presented at the meeting.
“Now the Central Medicine Store of the Health Department will procure the remaining 13 million vaccines plus newly proposed two million at a lower rate than the previously set price under the Sinopharm Vaccine Supplemental Agreement-1,” said the proposal.
On May 27 this year, the same committee approved the purchase of the same Chinese jabs at $10 per dose. China was then upset by the disclosure of the price saying it was a breach of a non-disclosure clause agreed by the two governments.
Bangladesh acted promptly to remove the misunderstanding.
“But this time the rate is not being disclosed in the interest of the state. It’s sure the new doses will have a lower price,” said the finance minister while briefing reporters on the issue.
Asked when the vaccine doses will arrive, he advised the media to contact the health ministry for any further information.
He, however, said the new proposal was approved with a provision to allow the health ministry to procure Sinopharm’s vaccine as many as it requires to meet the emergency.