Free COVID vaccines to arrive from India on Thursday: official

Two million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to be sent by India as a gift to its next-door neighbour will arrive in Bangladesh on Thursday afternoon, instead of Wednesday.

A special Air India flight carrying the consignment of free vaccine doses will land in Dhaka 1.30 pm Thursday, Health Division Secretary Md Abdul Mannan said at a media briefing on Wednesday. The vaccines will be stored in the EPI storage in Tejgaon.

Bangladesh purchased 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca from Serum Institute of India. The first shipment of imported doses -- five million – is expected to arrive in Dhaka by Jan 25.

Earlier, Health Minister Zahid Maleque had said that the free vaccine doses sent by India would arrive on Wednesday and he would personally receive the consignment at the Dhaka airport.

He, however, mentioned that the consignment may reach a day later.