Beximco Pharmaceuticals is planning to import 1.0 million more doses of the coronavirus vaccine from the Serum Institute of India for commercial distribution among employees of private firms like pharmaceutical companies and banks.
Beximco has already signed a deal with Serum to bring 30 million doses of the vaccine developed by Britain’s AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
The government will distribute these doses, starting with frontline health workers and those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, reports bdnews24.com.
Rabbur Reza, chief operating officer of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, said on Friday that discussions were ongoing for the import of the 1.0 million doses besides the 30 million.
“We are thinking about prioritising those in the frontline in the business sector, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, for the distribution of these (1.0 million) doses. Besides them, those working in banks and corporate houses will get the vaccine,” he said.
“These employees of private organisations are going to their workplaces daily risking coronavirus infections,” he added.
The late-stage trial of the vaccine is underway in India and it is likely to approve the shot by January, Reza said, citing Serum.
Beximco will apply for approval from the Directorate General of Drug Administration after the vaccine gets the clearance of the World Health Organization, he said.
“We will work more on the matter after getting the government’s approval. Everything depends on the approval,” he said, when asked about the possible time of the rollout to the private sector employees.
Bangladesh will get the 30 million doses from Serum at $5.0 per shot. For the additional 1.0 million doses, Beximco will have to pay $8.0 per shot. Finally, the price will be Tk 1,100 to Tk 1,200, including import and other costs, according to Reza.
The price will be fixed following the DGDA’s pricing policy, he added.