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Nationwide vaccine drive starts today

Published : 06 Aug 2021 10:52 PM | Updated : 07 Aug 2021 01:13 AM

The nationwide special vaccination drive against Covid-19 will begin Saturday.

Director General for Health Services Prof ABM Khurshid Alam said those above 25 years of age will be vaccinated during the campaign. The priority will be given to senior citizens, women and physically challenged ones.

Bangladesh has a stock of 1.23 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine.

Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen, earlier, said they would receive another consignment of 34 lakh doses of Sinopharm vaccine from China next week. Besides, 60 lakh doses of Pfizer vaccine will come under the Covax in the first week of September, he said. The government has planned to buy 7.5 crore doses of vaccine from China.

The director general for health said initially 35 lakh people would be vaccinated during the campaign. Those living in hard to reach areas will also be brought under the drive.

“We have 32,706 vaccinators and 48,459 volunteers ready for the campaign,” he said. Jabs will be administered simultaneously in 4,600 unions, 1,054 municipality areas, and in 433 wards of the city corporations.

On Saturday, the vaccination campaign will start in all union, municipality and city corporation areas. From August 10-12, the jabs will be given among the Rohingya population living in Cox’s Bazar. Over 55 years old Rohingyas will get the vaccine first.

The government started the mass inoculation on February 7.

The campaign was suspended administering the first dose after the Serum Institute of India postponed the shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Some 4,416,131 people have fully been vaccinated with two shots while 10,009,953 people have received the first doses, according to the health directorate.

Bangladesh signed a deal with Serum on December 13 last year to buy 3 crore doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Bangladesh will also receive 10 lakh doses of AstraZeneca vaccine soon under the COVAX facility.

Besides, the government is focusing on vaccine co-production.

The foreign minister said a MoU on coproduction of the Sinopharm vaccine would be signed at any moment.

“Everything is final,” he had said as the law ministry cleared it after vetting.

The government of Bangladesh, Sinopharm and a local company (Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd) will sign the MoU.

Incepta will bring the vaccine in bulk, and bottling, labeling and finishing of the vaccine will be done locally. This will make the price relatively very cheap.