On the second day of the mass Covid-19 vaccinations, 46,509 people across the country received their first jab on Monday – which is higher than the first day's immunisation turnout.
Of the vaccine recipients, 35,843 were male and 10,666 were female, said the health directorate, in a media release, adding that 71 of the recipients showed immediate side effects.
Meanwhile, the government, Monday, said citizens aged at least 40 will be eligible to sign up for the ongoing Covid-19 vaccinations. During the cabinet meeting Monday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed that the age ceiling be relaxed.
Earlier, people aged above 55 and frontline workers of different professions were qualified to register through the www.surokkha.gov.bd web application.
After emerging from the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, "The cabinet had discussions on a mass vaccination campaign. The prime minister directed that the age ceiling be relaxed to sign up for the campaign which began Sunday."
Hours after the prime minister's directive, the new age ceiling for registration was introduced on the website on Monday afternoon.
Bangladesh rolled out the mass vaccinations at 1,005 centres across the country Sunday. One the first day of the campaign, 31,160 people received the jab against the country's single-day capacity of vaccinating 1.5 lakh people.
The country is planning to inoculate 80% of its population, with each person getting two doses administered one-and-a-half months apart.
The cabinet secretary told the journalists that the vaccination would gradually cover the youths and families of frontline workers. He said citizens who failed to sign up online will be able to register at the vaccination centres and for this, they will have to show their NIDs.
Except on the weekend, 2,400 teams are carrying out the inoculation from 8am to 2:30pm every day. Khandker Anwarul said the first phase of immunisations will continue till 7 March.
He said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India is 70% effective.
"If 70 people out of 100 develop immunity, we will be in a comfortable zone to handle the virus' spread," he commented.
Wear face masks, wash hands even if you are inoculated: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon all to wear face masks and wash their hands even after getting the Covid-19 vaccine.
"All will have to continue wearing masks and washing hands. Even vaccinated people have to follow the same. Do not think you are safe as you have already taken the shots. We have to be careful," she said.
The prime minister said there is some confusion among rural people about the vaccine which, she hopes, will go away soon.
Sheikh Hasina said her government will give the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine within one-and-a-half months despite the first dose remaining effective in the human body for even two or three months.
The prime minister mentioned the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is being administered within eight to 12 weeks, in London, after taking the first jab.
"The second dose of the vaccine can be taken within three months. But, we want to give the second dose a bit earlier," she added.
She asked all concerned to take measures to bring frontline workers – such as medical personnel and law enforcement – under the vaccination campaign.