India is helping Bangladesh to fight off the pandemic

As a part of its ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to deliver the Covid-19 vaccine to the country.

The MoU was signed between India’s Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharma Limited on Thursday for priority delivery of 30 million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine for Covid-19 (Sars-CoV-2).

“Delivering on promises #NeighbourhoodFirst in action #IndiaBangladesh as partners #United2FightCorona MoU signed today, 05/11/2020, between @SerumInstIndia & @BeximcoPharma for priority delivery of 30 million doses of #COVID19 vaccine to #Bangladesh,” the Indian embassy in Dhaka said in a tweet.

Speaking at the occasion, Bangladesh Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, “‘We have not yet decided the price of each dose of the vaccine but it will be sold at a highly subsidized rate.” He added Serum was selling the vaccine to Bangladesh at the same rate at which it was selling it to the Indian government.

“We will be able to provide the vaccine to 15 million people once it’s available in Bangladesh as two shots of vaccine are needed for one person," Maleque was quoted by a Bangladeshi daily, New Age Bangladesh quoted him as saying.

Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Vikram Doraiswami said, “Today our partnership and cooperation moved one step forward. The health or epidemiology security of India cannot be ensured without the health safety of Bangladesh.”

He also said that India was helping Bangladesh in training programs for combating the COVID-19 outbreak. “We are also working as partners in various other sectors,” he said.

The Serum Institute, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines by volume, has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation, and the Gavi vaccine alliance to produce more than a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine for the global supply.

It is holding trials for three potential coronavirus vaccines, including one licensed to AstraZeneca by Oxford University.