DHAKA, Bangladesh — The government in Bangladesh has approved a proposal to procure 15 million doses of Chinese vaccines after India banned exports of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.
A Cabinet committee approved the $150 million plan on Thursday, Cabinet Division spokesperson Shahida Akhter said. Under the plan, each dose of China’s Sinopharm vaccine would cost $10 and the shipments would arrive in Bangladesh in three phases, starting in June.
Bangladesh had run its COVID-19 immunization campaign with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine supplied by the Serum Institute of India, which it had bought at $5 per dose. India suspended vaccine exports last month amid a crisis in domestic cases last month.
Bangladesh received only 7 million doses under a purchase deal with the Serum Institute. Another 3 million doses were donated by Indian government.
Desperate to obtain more doses, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed deals with Russia for the Sputnik V vaccine and with China for Sinopharm. China previously donated 500,000 doses to Bangladesh after the government stopped giving first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to facilitate the administration of second vaccine doses.