Second dose from April 7

Staff Correspondent | Published: 23:53, Feb 23,2021


A total of 1.82 lakh more people were vaccinated on Tuesday, the 14th day of the nationwide vaccination against COVID-19.

The country has so far inoculated 24.91 lakh people since the vaccination began on February 7, said the Directorate General of Health Services.

Health minister Zahid Maleque on Tuesday said that administration of the second dose of the vaccine would begin on April 7, eight weeks after the inoculation of the first dose began.

He told reporters at his office that teachers, air crews and people involved in ports would now be prioritised in  the vaccination as they were left out of the priority list of frontline workers.

The second consignment of 20 lakh doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the country Monday night from Serum Institute of India although the Serum was supposed to send 50 lakh doses of the vaccine in the second consignment.

The health minister said that it created a shortage of expected doses of the vaccine.

He said that the government was putting pressure on Serum and its local vendor Beximco Pharmaceuticals to make up the shortage as the country’s vaccination plan is depending on the availability of the vaccine.

The government is inoculating people the Oxford-AstraZeneca-developed vaccine produced at Serum, with which the government has a deal to purchase 3 crore doses of the vaccine.

So far, the country has received 90 lakh doses, including the 20 lakh arrived on Tuesday and 20 lakh doses India sent as a gift. 

Zahid said that some other countries were contacting Bangladesh to provide COVID-19 vaccines and the decision about them would be taken by high-ups of the government.

He said that the number of vaccine seekers was growing with over 36.46 lakh people getting registered to get the vaccine as of Tuesday afternoon.

‘Depending on the availability of vaccines, the plan of vaccination would be modified,’ he said.

The government has a plan to inoculate 60 lakh people in the initial stage of the mass vaccination, covering mostly frontline workers.

It expects to get 6.8 core doses of vaccines from the COVAX initiative, which will supply the first consignment of 1.3 lakh doses by early April.

The vaccination is being held at 1,015 hospitals across the country, including 50 in the capital.

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