All of them have already recovered, DGHS says
At least five of the first 567 people to be vaccinated in the country reported similar minor side effects three days after receiving the jab, health authorities said on Monday.
All of them have already recovered, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Additional Director General Nasima Sultana told reporters after a virtual meeting with civil surgeons, upazila health officers and directors of medical college hospitals.
“A very small number of vaccine takers fell sick, with common minor side effects. It was maybe just 1-2% of the vaccine takers. All of them have already recovered,” she said in response to a question.
When asked what kind of side effects the vaccine takers had reported, she said four of them had a fever, cold and soreness, while one person vomited.
All of the above are common side effects of the vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Govt cancels leave for health workers
The government has cancelled leave for health workers until February 10 as the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program is set to get underway next week.
DGHS DG Dr ABM Khurshid Alam said the decision to cancel leave for health workers was made at a virtual meeting with civil surgeons, upazila health officers and directors of medical college hospitals.
The vaccination campaign will be suspended on public holidays, the DGHS chief added.
The vaccination program is set to officially begin nationwide on February 7, and a dry run has already been conducted at five government hospitals in Dhaka. Of the 567 people who have been vaccinated as part of the dry run, 26 people were vaccinated on January 27 and 541 on January 28.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the campaign on January 27.
Vaccine program preparations
The DGHS said a total of 662 vaccine centres had been prepared across the country, including 49 in Dhaka and 613 outside the capital.
More than 30,000 people had completed online registration for the vaccine as of 5pm on Monday, according to the DGHS.
Officials said they had noticed that many professionals who had sent their NIDs were not attempting online registration.
“All the people, regardless of profession, have to be registered. We have sent a letter to the authorities concerned in this regard,” DGHS sources said.
Bangladesh has so far received 7 million doses of the vaccine. This includes 2 million doses received as a gift from India and five million as part of a contract with Serum Institute of India.
The government plans to inoculate 80% of the population. According to the national vaccine distribution and preparation plan, the doses will be administered in five stages in three phases.
Dhaka district has been allocated 648,000 vaccine doses for the first stage of vaccination, Gazipur 160,000 and Narayanganj 180,000. These doses will be provided from the 2 million of the gift from India and are currently in storage at the Dhaka EPI.
Vaccines allotted for Gazipur and Narayanganj are to be sent on Tuesday, said Akramuzzaman, EPI storage official at Tejgaon.
The DGHS on Sunday stated that vaccines had already been sent to 61 districts.