Five million doses of vaccine due today

Bangladesh will receive 5 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine today (Monday) from the Serum Institute of India as part of the tripartite purchase deal between the health ministry, Beximco Pharma and the vaccine maker.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque at a briefing on Sunday all preparations had been taken to store and use those 5 million vaccines.

Bangladesh will start the vaccination on January 27 with a nurse to take the first jab in a programme virtually inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The countrywide campaign will begin on February 8 giving healthcare workers and other front liners as priority.

Earlier, the government received 2 million doses as a gift from India.

According to the EPI, which is the immunization authority in Bangladesh, they will administer the vaccine in 6 million people first because out of the 2 million gifts, 1 million will be kept for the second dose.

The government will get the second dose for the 5 million people next month as part of the planned purchase deal with Beximco Pharma.

The second shot will be administered two months after the first jab as per the Oxford-AstraZeneca guidelines for its vaccine.

 The government will prepare a list of 15 million priority recipients for the vaccine.

 The Directorate General of Health Services has already sent a letter to all the agencies concerned asking them to prepare a list of eligible people of different strata to be vaccinated in the first phase.

 There will be no vaccination centres outside the government hospitals.

 Private hospitals will be able to take the permission as a vaccine center if they maintain certain criteria as part of the precautionary measures to treat any adverse reactions.

 A cell has been set up to regularly circulate information about vaccination through a bulletin, according to the health secretary.

 The government will also conduct antibody tests on the vaccinated people to see how long the Covid antibodies last. Everything related to the Covid vaccination will be controlled through a mobile app called "Shurokkha".