Bangladesh has the capacity to preserve 14 to 15 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, said Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque.
“We would be able to apply four to five crore COVID-19 vaccine doses in an appropriate manner as the health sector of the country has enough capacity for storage of vaccines,” he told a meeting on “Application and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines” at the health ministry here on Thursday.
Secretary of Health Education Division Md Ali Noor, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam and senior officials of different relevant organizations, among others, were present at the meeting.
Maleque said, “The government has taken all-out preparation for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines properly… each district level hospital has capacity to preserve 4.25 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses. Besides, each government hospital has five to ten ice freezers, which have the capacity to store nearly 71,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses.”
The government has formed 7,344 vaccine distribution teams, he said, adding each team has been formed comprising six health workers for proper distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
The health minister said as many as 42,000 health workers are being given training as part of the efforts for proper distribution of vaccines. Directorate General of Drug Administration will strictly oversee the total process of vaccine distribution among the listed people, he said adding the DGHS will disseminate regular vaccine distribution bulletin to provide all necessary information to the people.
The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca will arrive in Dhaka between January 21 and 25.
On December 13, the agreement was signed for collecting three crore COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.
Under the agreement, Bangladesh government will get three crore COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India, according to the DGHS.
On November 5, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed for collecting these three crore COVID-19 vaccine doses from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. The MoU was signed among the Bangladesh Government, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and the Serum Institute of India (SII).