AFC Agro Biotech has claimed that the government would buy two crore doses of the Covid-19 vaccine from the company but the health ministry said it has no such plan at this moment.
In a filing on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) on Tuesday, the company said in a joint venture with the Dhaka University and expatriate scientists, it has achieved initial success in the production of coronavirus vaccine in the country.
AFC Agro Biotech also said it wrote to the prime minister and the health ministry to give their consent to the government to buy the vaccine. In view of this, consent has been given from the Prime Minister's Office.
"We have succeeded in manufacturing a coronavirus vaccine in the country using Johnson and Johnson's formula. But we need buyers for its commercial production," AFC Agro Biotech's Director SM Saifur Rahman told The Business Standard.
"So we applied to the government last year. Yesterday we got the consent of the government. We have disclosed this information to the stock exchange as price-sensitive information," he added.
He further said that other companies have also developed vaccines earlier. Later they went into commercial production with advance purchase orders.
"We wanted that too. Now we are going into commercial production."
Meanwhile, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's Secretary Md Anwar Hossain Howlader said, "The government does not want to buy the coronavirus vaccine. We have the vaccine in our stock. But no one is taking it. Everyone thinks that the coronavirus has disappeared from the country."
He also said many domestic and foreign companies are applying for the sale of coronavirus vaccine.
"But we will not take any vaccine at this moment."
Head of Vaccine Procurement Committee and Director General of Directorate General of Health Services ABM Khurshid Alam told TBS, "I would know if there were any decision to purchase vaccines. But I don't know anything about this."
Meanwhile, there was no change in AFC Agro's share prices despite the news of the vaccine sale. Its share price on the Dhaka Stock Exchange remained stuck at the floor price of Tk23.50 each.