Government to focus on rural areas to meet 8 million target
The health authorities have set their sights on rural areas to inoculate 8 million people on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s 75th birthday on Tuesday.
According to the rural-centric plan, 6.9 million of the 8 million people will receive their first doses in the villages.
At least 1,500 people are expected to receive the vaccine at each union parishad, 500 people at each ward of municipalities, and 1,000 people at each ward of city corporations.
Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General Dr Khurshid Alam said there would be three vaccination centres at each union parishad, and one centre at each ward of the municipalities.
Wards in city corporations would each have one centre, but each of the centres would have three booths, he added.
Previously, the DGHS inoculated 200 people at each municipality centre, while 600 people were inoculated at each centre in union parishads and 350 people at each centre in city corporation areas.
This time around, vaccines will be administered in around 4,600 unions, 1,054 municipalities and 443 wards under city corporations. As many as 32,706 health workers will administer the shots, and 48,459 volunteers will help them in the process.
The DGHS DG on a Facebook Live stream said preparations were nearly complete, and the necessary equipment would reach the centres before vaccination starts.
He said the special drive would start at 9pm and continue till the centres reached their targets. The local authorities have been given power to change the date or time, depending on how the situation develops.
“Once the last person is inoculated, the vaccine provider will wait for one hour to confirm that no one has been left out,” he added.
According to the DGHS, most of the people will receive the Sinopharm vaccine. Expecting or lactating mothers are not allowed to receive it.
Only people who have registered for vaccination will receive the vaccine. They must bring their vaccine cards and NIDs.
People aged over 40 who reside in remote areas, marginalized people and students will receive priority for the vaccine. Those who are aged over 25 and have signed up for vaccination will also be eligible during the drive.
What do local health authorities say?
Local health authorities have said they are confident of reaching their vaccination targets.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Chief Health Officer Brig Gen Zubaidur Rahman said around 60,000 people would be vaccinated in the city corporation.
This includes 54,000 people in 54 wards and an additional 3,000 people at three booths set up in city slums. All the councillors had already been informed, he added.
Asking to remain anonymous, a few civil surgeons told Dhaka Tribune there might be a lower turnout than at the last mass vaccination drive as the Sinopharm vaccine is being administered. However, they have also observed an eagerness to get the vaccine among rural people.
“We do not know how many people will turn up, but we are arranging a special drive to vaccinate an immense number of people. We strongly believe that we will fulfil our target. All will be clear after the end of the first day of the special drive,” said Kishoreganj Civil Surgeon Dr Mujibur Rahman.