The government has announced to begin a drive to jab students aged 12 to 17 this week.
This initiative has been taken to bring back the education sector to a healthy atmosphere.
The vaccination drive of the school and college students against Coronavirus will initially begin in 21 districts including the capital Dhaka. At the first phase, 3 million students will be inoculated with Pfizer vaccines.
Director General (DG) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Abul Bashar Mohammed Khurshid Alam confirmed this at the end of the ‘Survivors Kits Handover’ ceremony held at DGHS on Tuesday.
“School and college students could not have been vaccinated till date as there was no approval of World Health Organization (WHO). However, the health minister has recently met the WHO’s Director General in Geneva and got the approval,” he said.
“The vaccination will begin this week after students complete the registration through their own educational institutions. 21 Separate vaccination centers will be set up for them,” he added.
This initiative has been welcomed by health experts and the guardians who have been worrying over the health of children since schools and colleges reopened on September 12, last month.
There were a few infection cases among school students, reported in different places in the country last month and tension grew among them. Thus, many have been expecting the initiative that the students below 18 be jabbed soon.
Welcoming this initiative by the government, Assistant Professor of Anesthesia at Mugda Medical College and Hospital Dr Sumain Oniruddho told Bangladesh Post, “This will certainly reduce the risks of the students who have to get out of their homes to join classes. We are seeing that the infection rate has already been gradually dropping over the last few days. It is the outcome of mass vaccination.”
“Along with the adults, if juveniles and children below the age of 18 can be vaccinated, the least existing risk of transmission will drop notably. We’ll soon see the end of this pandemic.”
On the other hand, teachers say this inoculation drive will help remove the fear of students to attend schools and make the guardians worry no more over the health condition of their children.
Mentioning the vaccines will eliminate the anxiety before SSC and HSC examinations take place, the headmaster of Motijheel Govt Boys’ High School and College Syed Hafizul Islam told Bangladesh Post, “Ahead of the upcoming SSC and HSC examinations, this vaccination will reduce the health risks. Parents will no longer worry to send their kids to schools.”
Meanwhile DGHS DG said there are plans to vaccinate students with Pfizer, adding students over 12 in many countries are jabbed with Pfizer despite having no WHO’s approval. It is not possible to deliver Pfizer vaccines everywhere in the country for the lack of such facility to preserve.
The Pfizer vaccine is a little different from other vaccines. This requires separate training for vaccinators. However, everyone will be informed the day before the inoculation begins.
DGHS has also considered the Bangabandhu Convention Center in the capital as a vaccination center, he mentioned.
Earlier on Sunday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said the government has 6 million doses of Pfizer vaccine. Half of this will be given to students aged 12 to 17.
Schools and colleges in the country reopened on September 12, last month after a long 18 months of closure after Covid-19 transmission began to fall. Now the university students are set to get back to their classroom after being vaccinated.