India’s Serum Institute delays COVID-19 vaccines for private sale in Bangladesh; focus on state campaigns

PUNE, India: Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals mentioned on Thursday (Feb 4) that the Serum Institute of India (SII) had delayed the primary provides of a COVID-19 vaccine for private sale, as a substitute prioritising authorities immunisation campaigns.

Beximco is Bangladesh’s unique distributor of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University shot that SII, the world’s greatest vaccine producer, is producing in bulk for low- and medium-income international locations.

The Bangladeshi firm final week obtained 5 million of the 30 million doses it had ordered from SII for Bangladesh’s immunisation programme that begins subsequent week.

Beximco had individually ordered 1 million doses for sale on the private market, with the hope to begin advertising and marketing it this month.

“However, the company has now been informed by SII that the first instalment (500,000 doses) of this supply will be delayed following a prioritisation on supplying vaccine doses for government mass vaccination programmes and WHO-led COVAX initiatives over private pay use,” Beximco mentioned in a regulatory submitting.

“It remains unclear how long this delay will last.”

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Beximco’s chief working officer advised Reuters final month the corporate may purchase as much as 3 million doses of the vaccine from SII at about US$8 every for sale on the private market.

The worth is about twice the US$4 per dose that Beximco had agreed on for the federal government programme.

AstraZeneca has been embroiled in a dispute in Europe after it mentioned it must minimize provides of its vaccine there in the primary quarter.

The WHO has known as for vaccines to be must be shared equitably and has urged international locations to not jostle for deliveries.

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