by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka;
Several thousand Rohingya Muslims received the first jab on Tuesday as Bangladesh rolled out inoculation against Covid-19 at the sprawling refugee camps.
The government’s local health office along with the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) and other aid agencies began the campaign targeting some 48,600 refugees in the first phase. They will be given the jabs in three days.
Some 7,000 vaccine cards were distributed among the Rohingya Muslims aged above 55 years across 34 refugee camps on the first day, said an official.
More people will come under the campaign once sufficient vaccines are available.
Bangladesh has been hosting more than 1 million Rohingya Muslims in sprawling camps in its south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar after they fled persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.
Nearly 750,000 refugees crossed the border after the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state in 2017.
Health officials reported rising number of cases in camps before beginning the doses. Some 2,662 infections with 28 deaths among refugees were reported since the first case emerged in the camps in May last year.
Rohingya were seen queued outside the immunization centers for their jabs.
A country of more than 160 million, Bangladesh has so far administered first dose among than 14.05 million people and the second dose among 4.7 since its mass vaccination campaign began in early February.
The country recorded a massive surge in case numbers in recent months due to the arrival of the most transmissible Delta variant.
Bangladesh has logged more than 1.37 million infections and 22,897 deaths since the first cases were reported in March last year.