Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the government has decided in principle to purchase 6 crore fresh doses of Covid-19 vaccine from China and 10 crore doses through the World Health Organisation.
"The Sinovac shots from China will arrive in the country in three months with two crore doses per month," he said at a press briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat on Thursday.
"If all goes well, it will be possible to administer 1.5-2 crore doses of vaccine every month from next month. Priority will be given to the implementation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's directive on reopening education institutions by providing students and teachers with vaccines."
Zahid Maleque said the money paid to Serum Institute of India (SII) will have to be returned to Bangladesh if the company fails to deliver Covid vaccines as per the agreement.
Bangladesh has spent more than Tk600 crore on buying 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from India. But, only seven million doses have come from India.
"Bangladesh is yet to receive 23 million doses as per the order placed to India. We are still waiting," said the minister.
He added that the government is in touch with SII and Beximco. "They have been assuring us that we will get the vaccines."
"If we do not get the (remaining) doses, then our money must be brought back. We haven't given up hope," said Zahid Maleque.
Bangladesh was supposed to get five million doses of vaccine per month as the SII and Bangladesh's Beximco Pharma signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for priority delivery of the vaccine.
In January, five million Covid-19 vaccines were sent in the first shipment from SII. But, after sending two million doses in February, they could no longer continue the supply due to the Indian government's ban on vaccine exports.
Bangladesh also received 3.3 million doses of vaccine as a bilateral partnership gift.
88 more die of Covid-19 in 24 hours
Bangladesh reported 88 more deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours till Thursday 8am.
Amid a steady decline in daily deaths, the country on Thursday reported less than 100 deaths for the sixth consecutive day.
Also, the positivity rate was 10.40% as 33,025 samples were tested across the country.
In the preceding 24 hours, 3,436 more people tested positive for the virus.
With the latest additions, the death toll reached 26,362 and the case tally increased to 15,07,116 in the country.