Bangladesh’s health authorities on Sunday said they set a deadline to vaccinate 80 percent of the country’s 170 million population by next year as part of the government campaign to contain COVID-19.
“We are planning to vaccinate 80 percent of the country’s total population by 2022,” Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam said.
Talking to BSS he said Bangladesh was already set to purchase roughly 14 crore vaccine doses by June next year while the rest of the required jabs were expected to be procured in the subsequent months to implement the plan, reports BSS.
The DGHS chief said the procurement process was already underway by reaching deals with different countries and companies.
He said agreements were finalized to get three crore vaccines from China’s Sinopharm, one crore Sputnik V of Russia, seven crore Johnson & Johnson and 65 lakh Pfizer of the US, three million AstraZeneca.
According to DGHS data Bangladesh so far collected around 1.61 crore COVID-19 vaccines and as of July 25 nearly 73.50 lakh people received first shot and over 43 lakh exhausted the course getting the second dose of the inoculate.
The number of people who got them registered so far is 1.18 crore.
Alam said a full scale vaccination campaign would be launched in rural areas as well after receiving the vaccines and “we are hopeful to get these vaccines very soon”.
“We will vaccinate people in remotest villages,” the DGHS chief said adding alternative ways were being explored for recipients registration to expedite the inoculation drive vaccinating 13 crore of the 17 crore people by 2022, he added.
The DGHS chief’s comments came a day after authorities lowered the recipients age limit to 18 years from 30 against the backdrop of brutal onslaughts of deadly Delta variant of coronavirus.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Saturday announced the decision and directed the ICT division to revise the national Surokkha app. to incorporate the younger population.
People aged 55 and above were initially declared illegible to get the vaccine as the inoculation campaign was launched on February 7 this year while the age line was revised thrice thereafter.
On February 7, the countrywide COVID-19 vaccination campaign began with spontaneous participation of all levels of people for receiving vaccines from 1055 designated hospitals.
“Every month one crore people in the country will have to vaccinated, meaning four lakh people every day, to get the full benefit of vaccines,” National technical advisory committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 president Professor Mohammad Shahidullah said.
He said vaccination campaign would not yield excepted results unless the registration process was eased to quicken the drive as vaccines of different companies have specific efficacy period.
Shahidullah said so far India vaccinated 43 crore people as it was carrying out a quicker inoculation campaign despite the pandemic’s worst onslaught.
“Quick vaccination coverage will reduce both infection and fatality rate,” he said.