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Health - August 7, 2021

Mega Covid inoculation drive begins in BD

Govt aims to inoculate 35 lakh people

Staff Correspondent: As the ruthless Delta variant of Covid-19 keeps spreading like wildfire, Bangladesh yesterdaykicked off another phase of its mass vaccination drive aimed at inoculating 35 lakh people in six days.
Covid jabs will be administered simultaneously in 4,600 unions, 1,054 municipality areas and 433 wards of the city corporations, Director General of Health Services Dr ABM Khurshid Alam told the media on Friday.
With a fresh stock of Covid-19 vaccine doses in hand, the government’s aim is to inoculate 80% of its population, with each getting two doses administered. Some 32,706 vaccinators and 48,459 volunteers have been roped in to make the vaccine drive a success.
Those above 25 years of age will be vaccinated, but priority would be given to the elderly, the women and physically-challenged persons, said Dr Khurshid.
“Some 35 lakh people will be vaccinated and those living in inaccessible remote areas will also be brought under the ambit of the drive,” he said.
Campaign timeline and areas:
On August 7, the vaccination campaign kicked off in all union, municipality and city corporation areas.
From August 8-9, jabs will be given to the residents of the excluded wards of unions and municipal areas where already the campaign was underway.
Between August 10 and 12, Rohingya refugees above 55 years will get the Covid jabs.
“Since the inauguration of the mass inoculation drive in Bangladesh on February 7 this year, some 4,416,131 people have been fully vaccinated with two shots and 10,009,953 people have received the first dose,” Dr Khurshid said.
Earlier in April, the government was forced to suspend the administration of the first dose of the Covid vaccine after the Indian government deferred the shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh.
On December 13, 2020, Bangladesh signed a deal with the Serum Institute of India to purchase 3 crore doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the country was supposed to receive 50 lakh doses a month as per the deal.
Referring to the Health Ministry, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday said that Bangladesh has a stock of 1.23 crore vaccine doses and some of them (AstraZeneca) will be kept for the second dose.
He said that Bangladesh will receive another consignment of 34 lakh doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine next week and 60 lakh doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the first week of September.
Covid situation in Bangladesh
Bangladesh added 248 fatalities to its national Covid tally Friday, up from 212 logged a week earlier.
The country has been reporting over 200 single-day fatalities for the past two weeks as it races to head off a surge in Covid-19 cases driven by the unrelenting Delta variant.
After weathering the first wave of the virus, Bangladesh’s health services are now stretched dangerously thin.
The Covid-19 infections are on the upswing, with 13,771 – 95% of the peak – new cases being reported on an average every day.
Bangladesh recorded 12,606 new cases on Friday after testing 48,015 samples, down from 13,862 logged a week earlier on July 30.
There have been 1,335,260 infections and 22,150 coronavirus-related deaths here since the pandemic began, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

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