Nationwide COVID-19 vaccination begins in Bangladesh

Bangladesh's COVID-19 vaccination programme began on Sunday across the country with a target to inoculate 3.5 million people in the first phase

Feb 07, 2021
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Bangladesh's COVID-19 vaccination programme began on Sunday across the country with a target to inoculate 3.5 million people in the first phase.

Bangladesh had received the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) under grant assistance on January 21.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque has received his first shot of the coronavirus vaccine after the inauguration of the vaccination drive through video conferencing from the health directorate of Bangladesh.

Maleque was administered the jab at Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Institute and Hospital in the capital's Mohakhali area around 11.30 a.m.

Deputy Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel became the first person in the Chittagong Division to be vaccinated after the inauguration of the inoculation campaign at the Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH).

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman and Public Administration Minister Farhad Hossain have also received their shots.

Hospital sources said some 162 people, including ministers, lawmakers and physicians, will be vaccinated in five booths at the hospital.

CMCH Director Brigadier General S M Humayun Kabir, Chattogram City Corporation chief medical officer Doctor Selim Akhter, Divisional Health Director Doctor Hasan Shahriar Kabir, Civil Surgeon Doctor Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, CEO of Chattogram Field Hospital Bidyut Barua and Chattogram range DIG Anwar Hossain received vaccine on Sunday morning.

They were kept in observation unit after taking vaccine.

Some 2,400 teams are working in 1,005 hospitals under the vaccination programme.

A total of 204 teams are facilitating the vaccination in 50 hospitals in the capital and 2,196 teams are carrying out the job in 955 hospitals outside Dhaka.

Some 7,344 vaccination teams are operating the vaccination programme across the country.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), around 3.5 lakh people registered for vaccine till Saturday evening.

People who registered for vaccine received text messages Saturday night confirming the date and centre for their vaccination.

The frontline workers will receive the vaccine in the first phase, while people under 18 and pregnant mothers will not be inoculated.

The country now has a stock of 7 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine, of which the government procured 5 million doses from Serum Institute of India and the rest were gifted by the Indian government.

Two doses of the Covishield vaccine will be given to each vaccine recipient in an eight-week interval.

DGHS sources and some vaccine recipients said no major side effect of the vaccine has been found yet among the vaccine recipients.

At least 100 people will be vaccinated daily across the country, DGHS officials told IANS.

Each of vaccination team comprises two vaccinators and four volunteers while the vaccinators include nurses, sub-assistant community medical officers and family welfare inspectors.

The DGHS has also asked not to grant leave to health workers until February 10 in a bid to ensure the smooth rollout of COVID-19 vaccine across the country.

The vaccine centres will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day except Friday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated the vaccination programme virtually when 26 frontliners received Covishield vaccine in Kurmitola General Hospital of the capital on January 27.

And 541 others received the vaccine in five hospitals in the capital on the next day.

A total of 567 people who received their first doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine were under observation for seven days.

Bangladesh plans to inoculate 80 per cent of its population and the COVID-19 shots will be administered in five stages under three phases under the national vaccine distribution and preparation plan, the Health Minister told IANS on Sunday.


(IANS)

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