• Friday, Jul 01, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive begins

  • Published at 10:30 am February 7th, 2021
Vaccine campaign Bangladesh
File photo: A healthcare worker prepares to administer a dose of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

More than 31,000 people vaccinated on Day 1

Mass vaccination campaign for Covid-19 kicked off on Sunday with no reports of any major adverse side-effects from anywhere in Bangladesh.

That being said, the registration process still remains a pain in the neck as the app is yet to come to the play store and candidates are still facing problems while registering.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), 31,160 people were vaccinated throughout the country in around 1,000 centres. With this, the number of vaccinated in Bangladesh stands at 31,727.

Among the vaccine recipients, only 21 people experienced mild common side effects while the rest showed no signs of illness.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque receives his shot of Covid-19 vaccine at Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute and Hospital in Dhaka on Sunday, February 7, 2021 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneIt was anticipated earlier that healthcare professionals would be largely vaccinated on the first day. However, reports showed local representatives and government officials were prioritized instead.

Ministers and high-ranking officials took the first jabs at the centers in the capital while MPs, divisional commissioners, or deputy commissioners (DCs) inaugurated their district level programs. They got vaccinated in an attempt to encourage people to register for vaccines.

There are 50 vaccination centres in Dhaka city of which seven were not operational on the first day, Director (MIS) Prof Dr Mizanur Rahman said.


Also Read - Nationwide vaccination program starts Sunday


When asked how many people were asked via sms to get vaccinated on the first day, he said that the local administration nominated them from the list of aspirants. “We do not have any central data,” he said.

Hospital authorities across the country, including those in Dhaka city, said they selected a handful of people from the list for the first day after receiving information from the data server.

As an example, Deputy Director of Institute of Cancer Research and Hospital Dr Halish Ranjen Sarker told this correspondent that they invited a small number of aspirants for jabs to test the capacity at their vaccination centres. “Of the 600 aspirants registered, we called 50 persons on the first day.”


Similar reports came from our correspondents across the country regarding the vaccination centres.

Civil Surgeon of Munshiganj, Dr Abul Kalam Azad, told Dhaka Tribune that they deployed fewer teams than their initial plan as the number of registrations were lower than expected. 

“We will deploy more teams if the number of vaccine candidates increase,” he said.

For the first day, the vaccination drive continued till 4pm. For the next few days, it’s scheduled to be held from 8am till 2:30pm, except on holidays and weekends.

Awami League lawmaker Mahbubul Alam Hanif inaugurates the Covid-19 vaccination drive at Kushtia General Hospital on Sunday, February 7, 2021 | CollectedMeanwhile, around 55,000 people registered in the last 24 hours; that sums it up to 100,000 for the last two days.

The DGHS said around 418,000 people completed online registration till 7pm yesterday.

‘Spreading of misinformation needs to stop’

After taking the vaccine shot on Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque, encouraging others to get vaccinated as well, said: “Vaccine is for victory [sic]. There is nothing to worry about.”

Narayanganj Civil Surgeon Dr Mohammad Imtiaz takes his shot of Covid-19 vaccine at Narayanganj General Hospital on Sunday, February 7, 2021 | Dhaka TribuneNoted virologist, Prof Nazrul Islam, who also got vaccinated on Sunday, said several misinformation – such as, infections during vaccination, Indian vaccine is less effective, and so on – spread over  time which needs to stop.

“As separate syringes are used for every person, there is no way to spread Covid-19 while vaccinating others,” he added.

CDC Director Prof Dr Nazmul Islam said they were expecting that the number of vaccinations would be lower in the first few days and it would gradually increase with time.“There is nothing to worry about till now.”

Manikganj Deputy Commissioner SM Ferdous, Superintendent of Police (SP) Rifat Rahman Shamim, and Civil Surgeon Anwarul Amin Akhand receive the first shots of Covid-19 vaccine at the Nursing College centre on Sunday, February 7, 2021 | Dhaka TribuneRegistration remains a concern

Health Minister Zahid Maleque once again announced that on-site registration at the vaccination centre would be allowed and people can get the vaccine immediately.

This time he added one more terminology, calling it, “manual registration.” He, however, could not explain what it meant. 

Asked about the matter, Additional DG prof Sabrina Flora said they are yet to come to any conclusion regarding “on-spot registration” and were still working on methods on how to approach the matter.

She urged everyone to get registered online for the time being.

Director (disease control) of DGHS, Prof Nazmul Islam, said if a vaccination centre has enough volume of vaccines for any given day, on-site registration would be possible and people could be vaccinated that day. Otherwise, they would have to get vaccinated later.

Tangail Deputy Commissioner Md Ataul Gani takes the shot of Covid-19 vaccine in the district on Sunday, February 7, 2021 | Dhaka TribuneMeanwhile, some vaccine aspirants faced problems while completing registration at the Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital.

Nurses at the registration and verification station at that centre said that they observed that the old voter ID number worked better and in more cases than the new digital NID number. 

Meanwhile, the director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital said they would vaccinate specially abled people after on-site registration. People with disabilities were not included in the priority list for vaccination by the government.

About the registration crisis, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said at the first phase, some problems might be faced but with time these would be solved.

National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 member Prof Nazrul Islam said that they have been urging from the very beginning to ease the registration process by ensuring effective campaigning.

The number of registrations are very low and the people who got registered till now (last afternoon) would be vaccinated shortly, which would create another problem, he said.

Local government offices (union parishad) should be deployed for early registrations to make things easier, the virologists opined.

People vaccinated yesterday

Division

Vaccine taken

Adverse impact

Dhaka

9,314

10

Mymensingh 

1,693

0

Chittagong 

6443

5

Rajshahi

3,757

4

Rangpur 

2,912

0

Khulna

3,233

1

Barisal

1,412

0

Sylhet

2,396

1

Total 

31,160

21

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