Despite its high demand in India, Dhaka hopes that New Delhi will supply the rest of the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine doses produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) to Bangladesh as agreed between the two countries with other options open.
“India is telling us that it’ll (March consignment) come but yet to arrive. We believe in their assurance,” Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told UNB in an interview at his residence.
He said Bangladesh received 3.2 million doses of vaccine as a gift from India but the consignment of 5 million doses that was scheduled to arrive in March from India is yet to come.
Bangladesh has purchased three crore doses of the vaccine from the Serum Institute and the first shipment of 50 lakh arrived here in January last week while the second consignment of 20 lakh doses of Covid-19 came in February.
The Foreign Minister acknowledged the high demand of vaccines globally, including the demand by some political leaders in India to halt export.
“I think it won’t be applicable for us as we’ve made arrangements and made advance payment. India announced the vaccine will be delivered as per schedule. And we believe it,” Dr Momen said.
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to place an immediate moratorium on the export of vaccines, fast track approval of other vaccines and open up vaccination to everyone who needs it.