Bangladesh has taken up the issue of speeding up delivery of about five lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines with India through diplomatic channels to ensure momentum of the vaccination drive in that country, diplomatic sources in India said today.
The matter was flagged by the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi in the last few days amidst concerns in the Bangladesh establishment over delay in supply of vaccines, for which commercial contracts were inked with the Serum Institute of India (SII), they said.
India's known stand on exports of Covid-19 vaccines is that it will be done in a calibrated manner and would be addressed after taking into account requirements at home.
However, concerns have grown in several countries that have signed commercial agreements with the SII as India's domestic vaccine needs have increased substantially following a massive surge in daily coronavirus infections and the government's decision to open up the vaccination drive to everyone above the age of 18 from May 1.
India has so far supplied 3.3 million doses of Covishield as grants to Bangladesh, while the country received another seven million doses as commercial supplies.
Bangladesh received the last supply of one lakh doses of Covishield vaccine as grant when Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane visited the country.
Bangladesh signed a commercial contract with the SII last year to buy 30 million doses and under the terms of the deal, the country should receive five million doses a month between January and June.