DHAKA, Bangladesh

Bangladesh on Sunday signed a procurement contract with Serum Institute of India, which is producing doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, an official said.

Bangladesh will get five million shots each month after the vaccine is approved for mass use, Bangladesh Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said at the official ceremony held in the capital Dhaka.

Doses are expected to first arrive in January, he added.

On Nov. 5, the Health Ministry inked an MoU with Beximco Pharmaceuticals of Bangladesh and Serum Institute of India to purchase 30 million doses of the vaccine. It will be available for 15 million people as two shots are needed per person.

A study published in the Lancet medical journal has confirmed that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine works in an average 70% of cases, with efficacy of 62% for those given two full doses, and of 90% in those given a half then a full dose.

Bangladesh has also signed with the UN’s COVAX Facility to recieve millions of doses.

The South Asian country of 162 million poeple has so far registered 490,533 infections and 7,052 related deaths.

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