Target now 75 lakh jabs
The government begins a special daylong drive at 9:00am today to administer the first dose of the Covid vaccine to 75 lakh people marking the 75th birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
"Only those who have already registered and been waiting for vaccines will be jabbed," Prof Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the health directorate, said in an online briefing yesterday afternoon.
In the first two hours, males aged 50 and above, females, and differently abled people will get vaccines on a priority basis, Khurshid said.
Expecting and lactating mothers will not be vaccinated during this campaign.
Everyone must carry the Covid vaccine registration card and the national identity card to the vaccination centres to get vaccines, according to a public notice published in the Facebook page of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday.
Each centre at unions and municipalities has a target to jab 500 people throughout the day while the target figure is 1,000 for each centre in the city corporation areas, according to the DGHS DG.
On Saturday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the government set the target to inoculate 80 lakh people today.
He also mentioned that students aged 18 and above who have registered would also be vaccinated.
However, there was no mention of students in the DG's briefing as well as in the DGHS circular yesterday.
Around 80,000 health staffers and volunteers will work in 16,153 vaccination booths during the campaign.
"The local health officials and other stakeholders, however, can increase the number of vaccination target and booths, if needed," Khurshid said.
For today's special campaign, the government will mainly use the Sinopharm vaccines.
There will be sitting arrangements in each centre for people to wait for half an hour to check any health issues after being vaccinated. A special team will also be present at each centres to tackle any side effects.
"Whatever the situation may be -- rain, cyclone, or anything else -- there is no way to stop the vaccination campaign," Khurshid said, adding that the EPI programme (regular vaccination) must continue.
The DGHS runs different vaccination programmes round the year under the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI).
The health DG said they have already held coordination and advocacy meetings with local public representatives and civil society members to carry out the special campaign.
Besides, announcements were made through loudspeakers in this regard.
25 DIE, 1,212 GET COVID
Meanwhile, 25 people died from Covid-19 in 24 hours preceding 8:00am yesterday, said a DGHS press release.
A total of 1,212 people tested positive for the virus during the period.
With the latest counts, the total number of Covid deaths in the country rose to 27,439 and the number of cases went up to 15,52,563.
The death rate stands at 1.77 percent.
Against a total of 27,787 samples tested during the 24-hour period, the positivity rate was 4.36 percent. The rate remains below five percent for five days in a row.
Of the 25 deceased, 13 were males and 12 females.