The Bangladesh government has rolled out countrywide mass vaccination today to immunise people against the dreaded Covid-19.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the vaccination in the capital at 10:20am on Sunday.
Later, the minister received his shot of coronavirus vaccine at Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Institute & Hospital in the capital's Mohakhali area.
Former Food Minister and Awami League leader Advocate Qamrul Islam also received vaccine at Keraniganj Upazila Health Complex after inaugurating vaccine there.
Besides, three justices of the High Court Division took vaccine shots at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
They are- Justice M Enayetur Rahim, Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury Nowfel has inaugurated Covid-19 vaccination programme in Chattogram by taking vaccine shots at first person.
He received the vaccine around 10:45am on Sunday in Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
In Rajshahi, the vaccination programme started at 10am in 11 centres.
MP Fazle Hossain Badsha received first jab at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
In Manikganj, the Superintendent of Police, Deputy Commissioner and Civil surgeon received vaccines first.
Besides, Covid-19 vaccination programme has also been started in Bagerhat. Deputy Commissioner A N M Faizul Haque took the first vaccine here.
People will be given the Covid vaccine shots, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, simultaneously at 1,005 hospitals across the country, including Dhaka.
Some 2,400 teams of health workers are deployed on the first day, with each team having the capacity to vaccinate 150 people. In total, 7,344 teams joined the vaccination drive.
In Dhaka, 204 teams are engaged in the vaccination programme at 50 hospitals. People will have to appear in hospitals between 8:00am and 2:30pm to get the first dose of the vaccine.
As many as 3 lakh 28 thousand and 13 people completed registration for the vaccine so far.
If one fails to get the shot as scheduled, he will be able to get it later. But pre-registration is a must to get the vaccine. Health workers will also assist people to get the registration done at the centres.
Meanwhile, the health directorate could not tell how long it will take to give 50 lakh doses of the vaccine received from India in the first lot.
Seventy lakh vaccine doses came in three batches. Two of them will expire in April and the other in June. There is a plan to vaccinate 35 lakh people in the first month.
People will receive the second short four weeks after the first shot.
The prime minister inaugurated the vaccination programme on 27 January. Only 26 people got the first shot that day. The next day 541 people took the jab at 5 hospitals in the capital.
People who will not get the vaccine
Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director general (planning and development) of the DGHS, said children below 18, pregnant and lactating mothers and those who were allergic to medicines would not be inoculated.
And the people, who have already been infected by the coronavirus, should not take the shot in four weeks. Those who are sick and are admitted to hospitals should not take the jab as well.
The list of recipients will be updated, based on observations and scientific information about reactions to the vaccine, Flora said.
Bangladesh reported its first coronavirus cases on 8 March, last year and the first death on 18 March.