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Bangladesh plans to lower age cut-off for Covid vaccines to 18 years

  • Published at 11:37 am July 15th, 2021
Representational Photo: Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Currently, people aged at least 35 years or belonging to special categories are eligible for the jabs

Amid a catastrophic spike in coronavirus cases, the government is planning to allow people 18 years old or above to register for vaccines, Health Minister Zahid Maleque has said.

“As a step toward resuming academic activities at educational institutions, we will gradually bring those who are at least 18 years old under vaccination,” he said at an event at Dhaka Medical College on Thursday.

The National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 has also made the recommendation, he added.

Currently, people aged at least 35 years or belonging to special categories are eligible for the jabs.

The ongoing vaccination drive is continuing with a stock of 4.5 million doses, according to the health minister.
Bangladesh expects to receive 15 million doses of vaccines every month, he said, adding: “Consignments of Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines [under the Covax scheme] will arrive by this month.”

Also Read - Bangladesh sees alarming rise in deaths with Covid-like symptoms

Registration for vaccination got underway in January, allowing people aged 40 years or above to take the jabs.

On July 5, the Directorate General of Health Services lowered the age bar to 35 years.

People involved in emergency services, workers from a number of occupations, university students and migrant workers are able to register, regardless of their age.

LGRD ministry: Vaccinate public representatives on a priority basis

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) has requested the Health Ministry to allow public representatives to take the shots as a priority.

In a letter, the ministry’s Deputy Secretary AKM Mizanur Rahman said that over 67,000 public office-holders in city corporations, municipalities, Zila, Upazila and Union councils across the country had joined the efforts to battle the coronavirus by “putting their lives at risk”.

Public representatives are already eligible for taking the jabs as the health authorities have included them in the special categories.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Rahman said that the letter was a reminder to consider the matter of vaccinating local representatives as a priority as many of them were yet to be inoculated.

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