The first shipment of the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) is likely to arrive in Bangladesh in the current month of January, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
"The price of the vaccines will also be less than that of the price in other countries. Each vaccine will cost US$5 (Tk 425)," he said.
The Health Minister disclosed it while talking to newsmen at Manikganj on Saturday afternoon.
Zahid Maleque said, "We're ready to receive the first shipment of vaccines. We're very glad that India has approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's vaccine following the United Kingdom. The government has signed an agreement with the Serum Institute of India to procure 30 million doses of vaccine directly," he said.
According to the agreement, he said Bangladesh would pay the price of first shipment of vaccine this week. Under the first shipment, 50 lakh doses of vaccine will arrive in the country, while 3 crore shots will arrive in phases over the next six months.
The minister said a committee is working under the supervision of the principal secretary to prepare a list determining who are going to be vaccinated with the jabs coming under the first shipment.
The Health Minister said around 40 per cent of the population is aged below 18, while 30 to 35 lakh are pregnant women, and about one crore people live in abroad. So, a total of 5.5 crore people will not require vaccines. The rest 4 crore people will be vaccinated with the shots of Oxford-AstraZeneca and the COVAX."
Replying to a question, the minister said those who have already been infected with coronavirus will also require vaccine.
The minister further said Bangladesh is 'successful' of coronavirus management compared to the United States and India.
He, however, called upon all to follow health guidelines following the availability of vaccine.