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10 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines under COVAX to arrive this month: Health Minister

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Ten lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive this month under the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (Covax) facility, said Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque.

In addition, the consignments of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), are also expected to arrive from next August.

The health minister disclosed the information while talking to media on Tuesday.

“Covax informed Bangladesh that 1 million doses of the Oxford-Astragene vaccine will arrive in July,” he said, adding that the local representative of Serum Institute also informed that they would start supplying vaccine from August.

Zahid Maleque said the representative, however, did not say exactly how many doses of vaccine will be provided by Serum Institute.

Bangladesh reached an agreement to bring three crore doses of the vaccine from Serum Institute in six months, but so far has received some 70 lakh vaccines in two consignments. The Indian government also sent 33 lakh doses as a gift.

Bangladesh launched a mass immunisation programme on February 8 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, “COVISHIELD”. But, India suddenly suspended exporting vaccines showing the reason of increased COVID-19 infection rate. Subsequently, the health ministry stopped administering the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZenca shots amid uncertainty over the arrival of the next Covid-19 vaccine shipment.

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