Nepal has decided to purchase 4 million doses of the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, amid its fight against the second wave of the pandemic. However, exact details like the price and delivery date are not properly known.
According to the sources, the vaccines are planned to be bought under a non-disclosure agreement which is raising concerns among the people residing in the Himalayan nation.
‘The Cabinet has authorised the vaccine procurement unit of the Ministry of Health to buy four million doses of the vaccine from China. Other issues including price, logistics, transportation will be looked into by the government agencies concerned,’ Minister for Industry, Supplies and Commerce Rajkishwor Yadhav said.
According to the Health Ministry official of the country, two doses of the Chinese vaccine would cost around USD 20. USD 20 for two doses would be very expensive for Nepal in comparison to the deal it got for the USD 4 AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India.
According to the sources, in the previous week Bangladesh had signed a deal with China to purchase the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine, without getting the proper details about price or quantity of doses.
This comes as the disclosure of procurement price of Sinopharm vaccine at Sri Lanka, in May, which had sparked a row after reports emerged that Colombo had to shell out a higher per-dose price than Bangladesh.
According to the sources, Sri Lanka is paying USD 15 per dose for the Sinopharm vaccine, which is USD 5 higher than what Bangladesh has paid.
Bangladesh commenced its inoculation drive against covid-19 with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine procured from India at USD 5 per dose. As per recent reports, the Chinese vaccine is set to cost Bangladesh double the AstraZeneca shot.