Vaccine Registration: NID requirement troubling many
Saleha Khatun is 55 and suffers from some health issues. She could not register on surokkha.gov.bd to get Covid-19 vaccine as she had lost her National Identity card a long time ago.
Her journalist son Shamiul Hossain Shimul is worried since an infection of coronavirus could be fatal for his mother.
He tried using her birth registration number to register for the vaccine but it did not work.
Finding no alternative, he contacted officials at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
"The officials said there is no alternative to the NID number. I am a bit worried as my mother has health complications," Shimul told The Daily Star yesterday.
He said he was exploring ways to obtain the number from the Election Commission. "I am not sure how I would recover the number."
Homemaker in Rangpur Tahmina Begum, 57, is on the same boat. She too has lost the card and has no way of registering for the shots.
Like them, there are many seriously vulnerable to Covid-19. They cannot register online.
According to the Election Commission's National Identity Registration Wing website, the upazila Election Commission office concerned could let a voter know of his or her number and there was no way to get the number online.
But the worse off are those who never had an NID card. There is no way for them to get the vaccine at this moment.
Shamsul Alam, member secretary of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign of the DGHS, told The Daily Star, "Currently we are accepting only NIDs. The number of people without NID is small -- 0.1 percent may be [of the population]. But we will arrange a way for them too … .
"We have no way to accept people without NID cards for vaccination."
According to the Election Commission, there are 10.40 crore registered voters in the country as of March 2 last year.
The population of Bangladesh is 16.47 crore, according to the UNFPA.
At least 2,04,540 people received the shots across the country yesterday, according to the DGHS. With this, the number of vaccine recipients rose to 5,42,309.
The government has a target of vaccinating 35 lakh people in the first month of the campaign.
Of those vaccinated yesterday, 86 had side effects. With them, the number of vaccine recipients who had adverse effects rose to 363.
However, none of them had any severe side effects, say health officials.
Initially, the government had planned to administer 60 lakh shots in the first month, but the number was revised apparently due to lukewarm response from people.
Over 12.37 lakh people registered with www.surokkha.gov.bd until 8:00pm yesterday.
The government had planned to administer the second shots to vaccine recipients two months after their first jabs. Due to the poor public response, it now plans to give the second dose a month after the first shot.