Resumption of First-Dose Inoculation: Good news, but not for all
After around two months, the administration of the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine resumes today on a limited scale with around 11 lakh Sinopharm jabs in hand.
Almost 15 lakh people have registered for the vaccination but haven't received their first shots yet, said health officials.
They also said the authorities were yet to decide on those who haven't got their second dose.
Besides, the authorities have 1,00,620 doses of Pfizer vaccine from Covax in stock. The decision on when to start administering them, however, has not been made yet, the officials added.
The first dose inoculation against Covid-19 resumes with the Sinopharm vaccine at a time when the country keeps witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths.
The positivity rate yesterday jumped to 18.59 percent -- the highest since April 19. Fifty-four people died from Covid-19 in 24 hours preceding 8:00am yesterday, according to a press release from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The government suspended the countrywide administration of the first dose on April 26 due to a shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India.
Bangladesh received the Sinopharm doses as gift from the Chinese government in two installments.
The jabs will be administered in 67 centres across the country, including four in Dhaka city, according to government notice, issued to all civil surgeons and related health officials, signed by Dr Shamsul Haque, line director of the DGHS.
Only those registered with the centres, but have not got the first shots, will get priority, said the notice.
Frontline government health workers, police members, outgoing migrant workers (registered with the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training), cleaners of Dhaka's two city corporations, and ward or municipality workers involved in funerals will also get priority for the vaccination.
Besides, students of all government, private medical, dental, nursing, midwifery MATS and IHT colleges, residential students of all public universities, employees of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, and the Chinese nationals in Bangladesh will also be eligible for the vaccination, the notice said.
There will be one centre in each district. The centre will either be at a medical college hospital, a district hospital or any other healthcare facility. It will be decided by the district's Covid-19 Vaccination Committee, led by the civil surgeon.
In Dhaka city, the Sinopharm vaccine will be administered at centres of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Shuhrawardy Medical College Hospital and Mugda Medical College Hospital.
There will be maximum of two vaccination booths in each centre, which will remain open from 8:00am to 3:00pm every day except Fridays and public holidays.
A vaccine recipient will get the second jab 28 days after the administration of the first dose.
Shamshul Haque yesterday told The Daily Star the government was yet to decide on when the 10,620 doses of Pfizer vaccine from Covax (Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access) would be given.
Earlier, the government decided to administer the Pfizer vaccine in Dhaka city.
According to DGHS data, so far 72,48,829 people have registered for vaccines on www.surokkha.gov.bd. Of them, 58,20,015 have received the first jab while 42,64,362 have received the second jab of AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine.
Bangladesh has so far received 1.02 crore doses of AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccines -- 70 lakh purchased and 32 lakh as gift from the Indian government. Besides, it got the 11 lakh Sinopharm vaccine doses from China.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday said Bangladesh would receive 10 lakh doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine by August under the global arrangement, Covax.
The nationwide mass inoculation against Covid started on February 7 at around 1,000 centres across the country with a target to vaccinate all citizens aged 18 and above in phases.
The inoculation campaign stumbled after Serum failed to provide the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid a surge in virus deaths and cases in India.
As per an agreement, Bangladesh was supposed to receive three crore shots of the vaccine from Serum in six months.
Serum delivered 50 lakh doses in the first consignment in January, but shipped only 20 lakh shots the following month. The country has not received any shipment from the company since then.
Meanwhile, the virus continued to sweep bordering districts, including Khulna and Rajshahi.
Besides, the highest deaths yesterday -- 15 -- was reported from Chattogram division. Twelve deaths each were reported from Dhaka and Rajshahi division, said DGHS.
In Khulna division, eight Covid patients died while four died in Barishal, two in Sylhet and one in Mymensingh division, according to the DGHS.
Of the yesterday's deceased, two died in homes and 52 in hospitals.
With this, the official death toll in the country rose to 13,399. The death rate stood at 1.59 percent.
In 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, 3,883 new infections were reported.