Govt to start giving Pfizer shots to kids in 20 days
Health Minister Zahed Maleque yesterday said students aged between 12 and 17 years would receive Pfizer vaccine.
"All preparations have been made. The vaccination programme will begin within the next 15 to 20 days," the minister said during a view exchange meeting in Manikganj.
Earlier on September 2, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also said school students would be given coronavirus vaccine in line with the World Health Organization protocols.
Different vaccines for children are being trialled in different countries but the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts endorses only the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine to be given to children as young as 12.
Earlier on September 1, Bangladesh received one million shots of Pfizer vaccine.
According to the health officials, they were expecting another five million Pfizer jabs by this month.
Administering this particular vaccine also has its own challenges in rural settings because of its rather strict cold-chain requirements.
The country has now the capacity to store over 1 crore doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Besides, there has been frequent hiccups in the country's regular mass inoculation campaigns mostly because of a shortage of doses.
The government could not continue the special vaccination campaign held from August 7-12 because of the same reason.
In yesterday's event, the health minister informed that a Tk 10 crore agreement has been signed with World Health Organization (WHO).
About the Covid-19 outbreak situation, the minister said, "Eight countries around the world including Bangladesh were put on the red list. Bangladesh's name has now been removed from the list by the UK."
"The prime minister of Somalia lost power following the coronavirus outbreak; Thailand's prime minister's situation is similar too. However, we are in good shape," the minister said, adding, "We have vaccinated 2.5 crore people so far."
According to the health directorate, however, around 2.18 crore people received only the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines across the country as of Thursday.