Jab campaign goes to brave little ones
The health directorate inoculated 120 schoolchildren, aged 12-17, with Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine yesterday as part of the trial run prior to largescale campaign.
With this, Bangladesh entered the small list of countries that started Covid-19 vaccination for children.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the rollout as the chief guest in Manikganj's Colonel Malek Medical College Hospital around noon.
Of those vaccinated yesterday, 50 students each were from Government High School and SK Government Girls High School, and 10 each were from Jatir Janak Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman High School of Sadar upazila and Garpara Zahid Maleque High School.
Mobassir Rahman Rafid, Afnan Azad, Israt Jahan Joynab and Tasmia Akter were among the first to receive the shots.
All of them were kept under close observation in the vaccination centre for an hour. No side effect was reported at that time.
"We returned to school after one and a half years. But there was a fear of getting Covid-19. We will stay relaxed now after receiving the vaccine," said Israt Jahan, a 10th-grader of SK Government Girls High School.
According to health officials, all these children will be kept under observation for seven to 14 days. If the trial run is successful, the child vaccination campaign will be launched on a large scale in Dhaka soon.
Then the campaign will be expanded to 20 other districts under which around 30 lakh schoolchildren will get the Pfizer jabs, they added.
Speaking at the event, Zahid Maleque said the government will vaccinate 30 lakh schoolchildren initially.
"There are over a crore [school] children in the country. We will vaccinate every one of them gradually," he said. "We have 60 lakh Pfizer doses currently."
He added that around half of the population will get vaccines by January.
So far around 5 crore, or 21 percent of the total population, have received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines.
About the novel coronavirus transmission, the minister said, "The Covid-19 situation is under control now. The positivity rate is 2.4percent now with a lower death rate. Despite this, we have to follow the health safety rules."
Prof Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), among others, were present at the event.
7 DIE, 466 GET COVID
Seven more people died from Covid-19 in the 24 hours till 8:00am yesterday, said a DGHS press release.
With this, the total number of Covid deaths in the country now stands at 27,737 and the death rate is 1.77 percent.
At least 466 new infections were recorded during the period, taking the number of people infected to 15,64,485, added the release.
The positivity rate was 2.16 percent against 21,568 samples tested across the country in the 24 hours.
At least 695 Covid patients recovered during the period.
The number of recoveries rose to 15,26,368 and the recovery rate was 97.56 percent.
Among the seven deceased, three were men and four women.