July 1, 2022, 8:02 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-08-02 05:23:02 BdST

Jabbing of 2nd AstraZeneca dose begins today

The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) announced on Sunday that the second dose of AstraZeneca will be administered in Dhaka from Tuesday and across the country from August 7.

Shamsul Haque, member secretary of the vaccination management committee of DGHS, said 15,21,947 people had already received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, 15, 21947 AstraZeneca vaccine receivers could not get their second dose till now due to a lack in vaccine supply.

Recently, the government received 10.26 lakh doses of AstraZeneca jabs last month under Covax from Japan along with jabs purchased by the government from different sources.

A total 44,66,689 people are now waiting for their second dose, as 88,06,075 have received first dose of vaccine but only 43,39,386 of them were the final dose.

Of them, 58,20,033 people received AstraZeneca first dose but 4298,086 were given their second dose while rest 1521, 947 waiting for second dose.

Japan earlier agreed to provide over 30 lakh doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with another six lakh doses expected to reach Bangladesh on August 3.

Meanwhile, the government is all set to begin a week-long vaccination campaign to distribute over 1 crore jabs to comparatively vulnerable people across the country.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque announced on Sunday that the government will distribute the doses across the country between August 7 and 14.

The minister made the disclosure while speaking as the chief guest at an event at BCPS Auditorium in the capital’s Mohakhali area.

“Priority will be given to senior citizens,” he said, adding that the government was also working on simplifying the vaccine administering process.

Till now, Bangladesh has cleared use of eight vaccines for emergency in Bangladesh, which includes Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covishield from India, Pfizer and Moderna from the US and Sinopharm from China, which are currently being used in the national vaccination programme.

Apart from that, the government also approved Sputnik V from Russia, Sinovac from China, Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) from Belgium, and AstraZeneca from Sweden.

DGHS officials said till Saturday afternoon, the government had a stock of some 1.21 crore vaccine doses from different producers, mainly from China.

The government started mass vaccination on February 7, followed by registration started on January 26.

On April 26, the government suspended second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and registration for vaccination was also suspended on May 5 until July 8 as India suspended vaccine supply.

In November 2020, Bangladesh inked an agreement with Serum Institute of India for 3 crore Covishield doses.

After shipping 50 lakh doses in January and 20 lakh doses in February, they suspended vaccine shipment as Covid situation deteriorated in India.

Apart from that, India also gifted 32 lakh Covishield doses to Bangladesh.

DGHS Director and Spokesperson Robed Amin said that the government has prepared some 13,800 vaccination centres with trained staff and vaccine storage.

On July 3, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a FY2021-22 budget speech declared that the government to bring 80 per cent of the country’s population under vaccine coverage before reopening educational institutions.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque later explained that by the first quarter of next year, the vaccination target will be achieved.

According to the DGHS statistics, so far 149,83,990 people have completed registration for vaccine till Saturday.

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