Dhaka to have 330 vaccination points
Officials are likely to inoculate Dhaka city residents against Covid-19 at around 330 points in at least 50 hospitals.
Officials said they have trained the vaccinators and procured syringes and safety boxes necessary for the programme.
Officials of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said Dhaka city dwellers will be vaccinated at between 320 and 330 points.
"But inoculation will not begin at every vaccination point on the same day. It will start gradually," a senior official involved with the plans told The Daily Star yesterday.
There will be vaccination points at four government medical college hospitals, 30 private medical college hospitals, and around 20 specialised hospitals and institutes.
Outside the capital, people will be inoculated at government hospitals and specialised hospitals.
A total of 7,344 teams will be deployed across the country to carry out the campaign. There will be two vaccinators and four volunteers in each team that will inoculate around 150 people a day. The vaccinators will include nurses, said officials with knowledge of the plans.
The DGHS will hold regular briefings to prevent the spread of rumours, and security measures will be in place during transportation and vaccination.
Shamsul Haque Mridha, member secretary of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Plan, said the number of vaccination points would be finalised in a meeting on Tuesday.
Shamsul, also the director of Expanded Programme on Immunization, said the home ministry was informed about the need for additional security measures.
"A team from the Prime Minister's Office has started working on it. They will monitor the security measures," he added.
The DGHS has been training the people who will implement the programme in the field, and eventually those in administrative positions will get the training.
India launched the world's largest coronavirus vaccination programme on Saturday. Over 1.6 lakh healthcare and sanitary workers at the frontline of India's Covid-19 battle got their first jab on the very first day of the programme.
Bangladesh will get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from Serum Institute of India by January 25, said officials.
Bangladesh has purchased three crore shots of the Oxford vaccine from Serum for $4 per shot, according to the tripartite agreement signed between the government, Serum and Beximco on November 5 last year.
As per the contract, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd will deliver the three crore doses to the district level EPI storages from Serum in six phases.
It was decided earlier that those aged under 18 and those who are pregnant would not get the vaccine shots. Each person would get two shots in a space of between eight and 12 weeks.
Officials are expecting 50 lakh shots to arrive in the first shipment.
People expressed scepticism about the shipment after Serum CEO Adar Poonawalla earlier this month said in an interview with the Associated Press that, "The vaccine has been granted emergency authorisation by the Indian regulator on Sunday, but on the condition that Serum Institute doesn't export the shots to ensure that vulnerable populations in India are protected.
"We can only give the vaccines to the government of India at the moment," he said, adding that the decision was also made to prevent hoarding.
Poonawalla further said the "company also has been barred from selling the vaccine in the private market".
Besides, Serum was planning to give 200 to 300 million doses to COVAX by December 2021, said the AP report.
The report also observed that the ban on export "means that poorer nations will probably have to wait a few months before receiving their first shots".
Officials then urged people not to worry.