Bangladesh, a country of over 160 million people, signed a preliminary agreement in November to purchase 30 million doses of the vaccine from Serum
The Serum Institute of India will sell the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in Bangladesh for $ 4 a dose, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, about 47% more than India will pay for its inoculation campaign.
The price from Bangladesh, eighth most populous country in the world, offers a first glimpse of what it will cost other low and middle income countries seeking to obtain the vaccine developed by UK drugmaker AstraZeneca with the University from Oxford.
Bangladesh, a country of over 160 million people, signed a preliminary agreement in November to purchase 30 million doses of the vaccine from Serum – the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume.
A Bangladeshi government official told reporters on Monday that the first batch of the vaccine, which Serum calls COVISHIELD, is expected to arrive in the country by January 25 so that inoculation can begin early next month.
Read also | The 1st shipment of Covishield vaccines leaves the Serum Institute
One of the sources said the price for Bangladesh “would end up averaging $ 3” per dose, without giving details. All sources declined to be named before the expected official announcement from the Bangladeshi government.
The Bangladesh Minister of Health and Secretary of Health did not answer calls on their cell phones at the end of the day.
Serum, which has stored 50 million doses of vaccine in India, signed an initial agreement to sell 11 million vaccines to the Indian government for 200 rupees ($ 2.72) per dose.
The rate for India is lower considering the massive demand for vaccines in the country of 1.35 billion. Indian regulators have already approved COVISHIELD for emergency use.
Serum has partnered with AstraZeneca, the Gates Foundation and the Gavi Vaccine Alliance to produce more than one billion doses of the vaccine for low-income countries. Brazil expects at least 2 million doses of Serum.
Bangladesh has so far reported 523,302 cases of COVID-19, including 7,803 deaths.