Quite a few suggestions have been made by the health experts about sourcing and managing the Covid-19 vaccines in a recent discussion on the issue. They have suggested that the government should explore more potential sources of Covid-19 vaccines apart from the ones that are being currently considered. It has also been suggested that Bangladesh should participate in vaccine trials which will broaden our scope to get more vaccines for future needs.
Although the government has made arrangements to bring three crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Serum Institute India (SII) and also announced that it will procure 68 million shots of vaccine under a global arrangement called COVAX, these are not enough for our population. And we still do not know how long these vaccines will give us immunity against the virus. Therefore, we need to procure more vaccines as soon as possible, and from sustainable sources.
Reportedly, six Covid-19 vaccines are already in the market and another 14 are in the pipeline. So, the government should decide which of the vaccines will be good for Bangladesh and make political and diplomatic efforts to buy them after consulting with health experts. And while selecting a particular vaccine, three basic parameters should be considered—safety, efficacy and standard of the vaccines. Needless to say, preference should be given to single-dose vaccines because it will reduce the government's vaccination cost.
Unfortunately, there is still confusion among people as to who will get priority in getting vaccinated and whether the majority of people will get the vaccines they need. In order to remove any such confusion, the government must make their vaccine deployment plan public and work with transparency. Moreover, campaigns should be held for raising awareness among people about the need for getting vaccinated against Covid-19. The government should make all-out efforts to make the vaccination process a success.