Two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India arrived in Dhaka on Thursday as a gift from New Delhi.
The Air India charter flight 1232 from Mumbai carrying the consignment landed at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 11.20 a.m. on Thursday.
In a tweet, Indian Minister of External Affars S Jaishankar said: "Touchdown in Dhaka. #VaccineMaitri reaffirms the highest priority accorded by India to relations with Bangladesh."
The vaccines which came as a gift will be handed over at a formal ceremony at State Guesthouse Padma on Thursday afternoon.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, Health Minister Zahid Maleque, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam, High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami and other high government officials will be in attendance.
The Serum Institute of India has produced the Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and drug maker AstraZeneca.
On January 8, Bangladesh approved the procurement of 30 million doses of Covishield vaccine from India.
"So, there would be plenty of vaccines in the country, we're quite assured now. We can start the vaccination programme ahead of the schedule," Momen told IANS.
Momen added that more countries including Russia and China, were interested in providing vaccines.
An agreement was signed in November 2020 between the Bangladesh government and the Serum Institute of India through which Beximco will avail 30 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.
In the initial six months of the first phase, Beximco will procure five million vaccine doses per month.
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