• Monday, Jan 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Bangladesh set to launch massive Covid-19 vaccination drive

  • Published at 02:05 pm August 2nd, 2021
A health worker administers the Covid-19 vaccine to a man at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Walk-in vaccination at centres in unions and wards starts from August 7

The Bangladesh government’s plan to inoculate 10 million people in a week mainly focuses on the people who are living at union and ward levels.

In an inter-ministerial meeting last week, the government decided to launch walk-in vaccinations for the people in rural areas from August 7. 

However, vaccination centres in state-run hospitals in upazila towns as well as those in the city corporation areas will not allow anyone to take the jab without registering online.

According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), the health service unit which is implementing the extended vaccination program would administer vaccines only three days a week. 

They would extend it by a day depending.

For inoculating 10 million people in a week, authorities will have to administer 2.5 million doses a day, given that the drive is conducted four days a week.

“Two days in a week, we vaccinate children for other diseases. On the other days Covid-19 vaccines will be administered,” said Md Mujibur Rahman, civil surgeon of Kishoreganj.

“Basically the walk-in facility is for the people who are technologically challenged or uninterested. Walk-in vaccine is an easy job for them. They just need to bring their national ID cards to the vaccination centres,” he said.

“At the regular vaccination centres, we are thinking of inoculating a second dose on those days,” said Dr Mujibur.

At the regular centres in upazila health complex or city corporation areas no walk-in facility will be available, said Dr Md Sheikh Abu Shahin, civil surgeon of Jessore.

Also Read- Covid-19: How can Bangladesh ramp up its vaccination capabilities?

At the grassroots level, each centre will have three booths for people while in municipality areas, there will be a single booth for each ward, he added.

“Authorities have got no instruction to provide walk-in-vaccine at any regular centre including us,” said Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s Director Brig Gen Nazmul Haque.

Meanwhile, Dhaka Civil Surgeon Abu Hussain Md Moinul Ahsan said they opted to set up vaccination centres in schools at the ward level.

“It would give enough space for ensuring social distance as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, director of hospitals at DGHS, Dr Farid Uddin Miah, said they would dedicate some officials and staff in the vaccination program.

“So, hopefully there will be no manpower shortage to provide health services to the Covid patients,” he added.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said they would administer the first 10 million doses of vaccine from August 7 to August 14 in a festive mood across the country. “Elderly people would get priority.”

According to the DGHS, people at the grassroots level would get the Sinopharm vaccine while Moderna vaccine would be provided to the city corporation dwellers. Second dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca would also be inoculated across the country from Monday.

Achieving the goal

The health care authorities have experience of administering around one million vaccines a day in other inoculation programs.

Kishoreganj Civil Surgeon Mujibur Rahman sees no harm if they could not achieve the goal but gets close to it. The number can be increased gradually.

They would provide vaccines to ward 1 (according to the three ward system of union parishad) this week and later they would vaccinate ward 2 and 3 accordingly. The time of the week will depend on the availability of the vaccine, according to him.

“It would not be a quick program rather a part of developing a system,” Rahman added.

Without making such an approach the program would be much lengthier and the health authorities would not achieve their goal as no one knows how many days the antibody would last, he observed.

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