Around seven lakh people in Chattogram are yet to receive any text message or SMS for taking vaccine despite having registration, due to shortage of vaccine doses against the demand.
Chattogram Civil Surgeon's Office said it has so far received 31.87 lakh vaccines — including Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Moderna — against the need for 62 lakh doses for both doses for vaccinating the 31 lakh people having registration.
For this, a good number of people with registration are facing trouble in getting vaccinated, it added.
Chattogram Civil surgeon Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi, on Sunday, told The Business Standard more than 31 lakh people have so far registered for vaccines. Of them, over 24 lakh people were vaccinated (some got one dose and some received both doses). About seven lakh people did not get any dose.
"We have now 7.80 lakh vaccines in storage," the civil surgeon said.
Asked why those people are not getting vaccines despite having 7.80 lakh vaccines in storage, the civil surgeon said, "On 28 September, we will arrange a vaccination programme for providing the 2nd dose vaccines to four lakh people who received the first jab on the previous vaccination campaign."
"We are not sending SMS for now to receive the first dose of the vaccine as we will administer the 2nd dose with the remaining vaccines."
Following the uncertainty that looms over people getting vaccinated, Sadia Sultana, a housewife, who is currently pregnant expressed worry over not getting vaccinated within the stipulated time as per the advice of her doctors.
She said, "Doctors advised her to get vaccinated within a specific time (between four and seven months) during pregnancy. I registered for the vaccine on 17 August. But I have not yet received any SMS for vaccination despite passing 1 month and 12 days."
Not only Sadia, seven lakh people's wait for vaccination will be prolonged until the civil surgeon's office receives more doses of vaccines.
Regarding the mismatched figure of vaccinated people and the number of remaining vaccines, the civil surgeon said, "Counting people and vaccine doses are not the same. Sometimes we administer vaccines to two or three persons with one dose vaccine, so these figures are seemingly mismatched."
On the other hand, people who received their first dose with Moderna or AstraZeneca jabs are mostly facing uncertainty as the civil surgeon's office here merely receives these vaccines.
Maidul Islam, a resident of the Firingibazar area, who went to Chattogram City Corporation General Hospital on 15 September to get vaccinated said he saw a notice hanging at the hospital entrance citing the unavailability of Moderna vaccines there.
He also heard an announcement by the hospital through a megaphone saying, "As they have no Moderna vaccines, for now, SMS will be sent out subject to receiving the vaccines. Those who have come to get the second dose of Moderna vaccine please go home."
Rapid action to preserve Pfizer vaccines
Chattogram Civil Surgeon Dr Sheikh Fazle Rabbi told TBS they are taking steps to preserve the Pfizer vaccines in Chattogram as soon as possible.
"A UNICEF team has visited Chattogram under the direction of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and monitored the facility arranged for preserving the Pfizer vaccines."
"They will instruct the DGHS to take necessary steps for immediately setting up storage facility in Chattogram. Necessary steps will hopefully be taken in a short time to preserve Pfizer vaccines in Chattogram," Fazle Rabbi said.