The UK will do everything we can to support Bangladesh to save lives and defeat the pandemic, says the British high commissioner
The United Kingdom (UK) has donated over four million doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca to Bangladesh through the covax vaccine sharing mechanism.
British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson welcomed the arrival of over four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK to Bangladesh.
“Like the rest of the world, the UK and Bangladesh have experienced difficult times because of the pandemic. And we’re both in it together in building back better, safer, greener,” said the high commissioner.
He said this vaccine donation by the UK is a powerful demonstration of “BritBangla Bondhon” between two countries. “The UK will do everything we can to support Bangladesh to save lives and defeat the pandemic.”
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Bangladesh’s fight against coronavirus pandemic and economic recovery will be reinforced by the vaccine donations from the UK, said the British high commission in Dhaka on Monday.
This donation came as the follow-up of the UK commitment to donate 100 million doses by June 2022 at G7 this year and 80% of those doses donated by the UK will be distributed through covax facility.
The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19, including through investing £90 million, to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, made by Oxford Bio-medica in Oxford and packaged in Wrexham, North Wales.
Over half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle-income countries.
The UK also started efforts to establish covax in 2020, providing a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower income countries.
Around 65% of the initial vaccine doses have been Oxford-AstraZeneca. covax aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries around the world by early 2022.
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The UK provided £90 million to support the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: £25m on the initial research & development, and £65m to scale up manufacturing.
The UK made it clear as part of that funding that the vaccine should be affordable around the world and consequently AstraZeneca agreed to distribute it at a non-profit price during the pandemic.
The cost of this donation has been funded through UK Overseas Development Assistance and will come over and above the ODA spending target of 0.5% of GNI, if needed.
The UK has been supporting the Bangladesh Ministry of Health to develop a well-coordinated national response plan to tackle Covid-19 pandemic, resourced by all the development partners and the Government of Bangladesh, said the High Commission.