Price and Indian government policy made serum slow to supply vaccine to Bangladesh


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Price and Indian government policy made serum slow to supply vaccine to Bangladesh

Serum Institute of India (SII), has fixed Tk 678 per dose as its private retail cost in India while it sold the same at Tk 425 to Bangladesh which pushed the company go slow supply vaccine to the contry, industry sources said.

It also going slow to Bangladesh supply as Indian government wants vaccine supply to its citizen at priority basis, an industry insider said.

But as the Serum Institute received advance payment from the government it is bound the supply vaccine as per the business deal  inked within international trade protocol.

If Serum failed to supply the vaccine timely Bangladesh government will able to file lawsuit against Serum, Anisul Islam, a Supreme Court Lawyer expert on International Trade said.

Recently Serum  in a statement welcome the recent announcement made by Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Finance Ministry to accelerate India’s vaccination drive.

“The promising directives will help to scaleup vaccine production, and allow state governments, private hospitals, and vaccination centers to procure vaccines directly.”  Serum in a statement said.

For the next two months, we will address the limited capacity by scaling up the vaccine production. Going ahead, 50% of our capacities will be served to the Government of India’s vaccination program, and the remaining 50% of the capacity will be for the State governments and private hospitals, iy further added.

The government has deposited over Tk 6 billion to make an advance payment to Serum Institute of India for the purchase of 30 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus.

The amount credited in advance to Janata Bank and Standard Chartered Bank with Serum Institute providing the bank guarantee.

On Nov 5, Bangladesh signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India for the procurement of 30 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. Accordingly, Serum Institute will supply 5 million doses of the vaccine each month. The vaccine will cost Bangladesh $5 or about Tk 425 per dose, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said.

In August, 2020 Beximco Pharmaceuticals announced an investment in Serum Institute of India to ensure Bangladesh gets priority access to the COVID-19 vaccines being developed by the Indian drug manufacturer, adding it would be the exclusive supplier in Bangladesh.

Private sales of the vaccine by Beximco could begin in Bangladesh next month, and at a retail price of about 1,125 taka ($13.27) per dose. Currently, the company has a deal for one million doses that could be raised by another two million, he added.

Beximco, one of Bangladesh’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, is the exclusive distributor of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.

As a low-income country, Bangladesh will also get around 68 million doses of vaccines – possibly including the one developed by Pfizer Inc with partner BioNTech SE – at a subsidised rate from global vaccine alliances.

Serum has partnered with British drugmaker AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for poorer countries.



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