The UK bilaterally donated 1 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh. The vaccine consignment arrived in Bangladesh on 23 February 2022. This bilateral donation from the UK will reinforce Bangladesh's fight against the coronavirus pandemic and the country's economic recovery.
Prior to this, the UK donated over 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh in December 2021 through COVAX facilities.
While welcoming the second consignment of vaccines donation from the UK, the British High Commissioner HE Robert Chatterton Dickson said:
"We welcome the arrival of 1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the UK to Bangladesh. This bilateral donation adds to the 4 million doses that the UK donated through COVAX last year.
"This support from the UK takes us one step ahead to defeat the pandemic and further strengthens our commitment to stand with the people of Bangladesh to recover faster and build a healthier and prosperous future."
Complementing the vaccine donations, the UK's Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), through its delivery partners, created an enabling environment for the Government of Bangladesh to accelerate and expand the vaccination program as well as reduce the transmission of the infection especially among the low-income people. This includes support for on-line vaccine registration for the disadvantaged, raising awareness, additional healthcare provider and technician support, training of health workers including vaccinators, and transporting vaccines to the districts as well as to the schools across the country.
Since the pandemic started, the UK government has reprioritized more than £55.9 million to fund Bangladesh's National Preparedness and Response Plan to tackle COVID-19 including support for Rohingya refugees and the host communities.
The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19. Last year at the G7, the UK committed to donate 100 million doses by June 2022. 80% of those UK doses will be distributed through the COVAX facility. Earlier, the UK kick-started efforts to establish COVAX facility in 2020, providing a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower-income countries.
- The UK provided £90 million to support the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine: £25m on the initial research and 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.