Children aged 12-17 to get Pfizer shots
The government will inoculate children aged 12-17 with Pfizer Covid vaccine soon, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said yesterday.
For this, the children have to register using their birth certificates.
The minister announced this at a time when schools and other educational institutions, except universities, were opened last month on a limited scale following a closure of more than one and a half years.
"Sixty lakh Pfizer vaccine doses are already in stock. We will vaccinate 30 lakh children initially. Another 70 lakh Pfizer vaccine shots will come soon," he said at a press conference on Covid-19 vaccines in the capital.
Including the children, the number of fully vaccinated people will reach eight crore by December-January and the government has ensured enough vaccine supply for this, the minister said.
Till Thursday, around 1.79 crore people received both doses of the vaccines, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
The minister, however, did not mention when the child vaccination will start.
"We have asked the ICT ministry to arrange this [registration process]," the minister said. "A protocol is being prepared in this regard."
Earlier in his speech, before the question-answer session, the minister said he had discussed the child vaccination issue with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World health Organization, during his visit to Geneva last week.
"He [WHO DG] has agreed saying that we can vaccinate children, especially those with comorbidity, with Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to prevent transmission," Maleque said.
He added that the WHO DG has assured him of supplying more vaccine shots free of cost in future upon availability.
Under the Covax facility, Bangladesh has received an allocation of 6.8 crore vaccine jabs, equivalent to 20 percent of the target population for vaccination.
"The WHO DG has assured that they will increase the allocation by 35-40 percent based on availability," Maleque said.
The WHO director has also assured necessary support to produce Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
"We hope we will vaccinate eight crore people with double-dose by December-January," the health minister said.
Bangladesh will get over 16 crore vaccine jabs by January from different sources, including Covax, Sinopharm and the Serum Institute of India, the minister mentioned.
So far, the government has received 7.22 crore jabs of Covid vaccines, while 5.20 crore people have registered so far, said the minister.
Currently, the government has 1.88 crore jabs of different Covid-19 vaccines in stock, which will increase to more than three crore by this month, the minister added.
The government will receive a total of 3.75 crore jabs in November, five crore in December and 3.75 crore in January.
Currently, around four-five lakh people are being vaccinated daily on average.
"We will vaccinate 10-15 lakh people daily. If necessary, we will arrange special campaign," Maleque said.
The DGHS reported 14 more deaths from Covid-19 and 481 new cases in 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday.
After the record-breaking daily deaths and new cases of Covid in July, the virus transmission has come down below three percent in the last one week.
The minister, however, urged people to maintain health safety guideline to prevent any fresh wave of virus transmission.