Dhaka – Bangladesh has begun vaccination campaign among frontline workers with first jab given to a nurse of a public hospital in Dhaka as the government planned a nationwide inoculation against novel coronavirus in the first week of next month.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the campaign at Kurmitola General Hospital from her official residence through a videoconferencing on Wednesday. A nurse, a doctor, a senior health official, a policeman and an army officer received the Oxford-AstraZeneka jabs, produced by Serum Institute of India.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said more frontline workers will be given the shots in the next two days. The recipients will stay at hospital for observation. “Adverse effect, if any, will be treated immediately,” he told reporters after the campaign was launched.
He said Bangladesh has now 70 million doses of vaccine, which many of the South Asian country, excepting India, doesn’t have.
The minister called upon the people to get their names registered for vaccine dismissing the suspicion made by certain quarters about the vaccine. He said the senior government ministers will receive the shots once the common people get it.
Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam said 500 to 600 medical professionals of five hospitals — Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital, Mugda Medical College Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) — will be given these vaccines ahead of launching countrywide drive.
Maleque said the nationwide vaccination campaign will begin on February 7. The first recipients of the vaccine will be observed for seven days and the other people listed will be vaccinated during the nationwide vaccination campaign.
Bangladesh received its first ever COVID-19 vaccine consignment on January 21 as India sent 2 million doses of vaccine as gift. The second shipment of 5 million doses arrived on Monday as per an agreement Bangladesh signed in November to import 30 million doses from Serum Institute of India.
The SII will supply 5 million doses per month until June, according to the minister. In addition, Bangladesh will get get 68 million doses of shots for its 20 per cent population from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility by the year end.