The vaccination campaign is set to resume on Saturday
The government has decided to administer the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine to the expatriates of the country.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) issued a letter on Thursday to include the expatriates in the vaccine priority list in this connection, Assistant Personal Secretary (APS) to the Minister for Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Md Rasheduzzaman confirmed.
According to the Health Ministry, all expatriates, who have a Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) smart card or registered for one, will receive the vaccine on priority basis.
The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign, which stalled due to a suspension of supply back in April, is set to resume on Saturday.
The Sinopharm vaccine will be administered at every Covid vaccination centre in the country.
The decision to include expatriates to the vaccine priority list came following a meeting between Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad on Wednesday.
Bangladesh started its nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program on February 7 by administering Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
The country has so far received seven million Covishield doses through its contract. Besides, India gave Bangladesh 3.3 million vaccines as a gift.
However, on April 25, the government suspended administering the first doses with Covishield, just a day after India said no more vaccine doses would be shipped to Bangladesh anytime soon as the Covid-19 situation worsened there.
As SII has been unable to provide the number of doses they promised, many people are waiting for second jabs after receiving their first.
Bangladesh till now received 1.1 million Sinopharm vaccines as a gift from the Chinese government.
The health authorities administered the Sinopharm vaccine to 500 medical college students on May 25 while Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) administered the vaccine to over 450 Chinese citizens as well.
On May 31, the country also received a little over 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine under the Covax facility run by the World Health Organization and Gavi, the vaccine alliance.