Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque has said Bangladesh will receive three crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines in phases in the next six months.
"The first batch of vaccine is expected to reach the country between late January and mid-February next year. The government has prepared to provide vaccines properly to the people of the country," he said.
The minister said this while briefing the media after inspecting two vaccine labs at the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) in the capital's Mohakhali area on Sunday, said a press release.
The government will get the vaccine from the Serum Institute in India and the World Health Organisation (WHO), Zahid said.
"We have trained the manpower to give vaccine shots, have prepared the vaccine storages, and strengthened the coldbox system to keep the shots at a certain temperature. Additionally, a guideline has been prepared on how to distribute the vaccine," he also said.
"Those who are criticising the government about providing vaccine to the people are talking without knowing the correct information."
The minister also said the WHO would send Covax vaccine shots by May-June next year for 20% of the country's population.
Most of the people in the country will get vaccine if Covax vaccine is released along with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, he added.
Directorate General of Health Services Director General Prof Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, DGDA Director General Major General Md Mahbubur Rahman, were, among others, present during the inspection.
The health minister said, "Currently, about 37% of the people in the country are under the age of 18 and about 30 lakh women are pregnant while about one crore people are living abroad. So, almost all the people in the country will be vaccinated with Oxford and Covax vaccines."
He also highlighted the country's success in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic in a recent survey published by Bloomberg, which ranked Bangladesh the number one country in South Asia in this regard.
He said it is a huge recognition for the country.