Vaccination on right track
- In bangladesh, 18,48,313 people vaccinated as of Friday
- Over 15 countries have so far brought 1% of their populations under vaccination coverage
- Although India started vaccination before Bangladesh, with its large population it is yet to reach 1%
- Infection rate in Bangladesh has been below 5% for more than a month
Bangladesh has so far inoculated more than 1% of the population targeted in its Covid vaccination journey to reach 80% people.
Only a handful of countries have been able to do the job in such a short time.
As many as 18,48,313 people in the country have come under immunisation against Covid-19 till Thursday – the 12th day of the vaccination campaign.
India with a large population is yet to vaccinate 1% even though the country's immunisation drive began before Bangladesh.
Over 15 countries have so far brought at least 1% of their populations under inoculation coverage. The United Kingdom has managed to vaccinate 23% of its population, said Dr AS Alamgir, principal scientific officer at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, at a dialogue on Covid-19 situation and vaccination.
The Bangladesh Health Reporters' Forum (BHRF) organised the discussion at the auditorium of the Bangladesh Medical Association on Friday.
UGC Professor and prime minister's personal physician Prof Dr ABM Abdullah, President of Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad and Member of National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 Prevention Prof Dr Iqbal Arsalan, Ekushey Padak-awarded microbiologist Prof Dr Samir Kumar Saha and member of the technical advisory committee Dr Abu Jamil Faisel spoke on the occasion.
Dr Alamgir said Covax promised to provide vaccine doses for 20% of Bangladesh's population. The number might increase to 27%.
It will be known within this week whether cluster-based infections are prevailing in the country, he added.
The infection rate in the country has been less than 5% for more than a month, but it does not mean that the infection has decreased. In many parts of the world, the rate of infection has risen again after a decline.
"Vaccination is one of the best ways to prevent infections but not the only way. So, alongside the vaccination, we have to comply with the hygiene rules such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently and avoiding public gatherings," said Dr Alamgir.
Professor Dr ABM Abdullah said, "A reduction in infections was good news. But there is no room for complacency. Additionally, we must also wear a mask. Wearing two masks is said to be more effective."
The infection rate dropped but it is not yet risk-free, Professor Dr Iqbal Arslan said, urging the government to focus on stopping public gatherings to contain future infections.
Dr Abu Jamil Faisel said everyone from social activists to religious leaders should be involved to make the vaccination programme successful. Women, slum dwellers and low-income people have not been vaccinated yet.
Professor Dr Samir Kumar Saha said, "We had genome sequencing facilities in the country even before the Covid-19 hit but could not show any success. When we started working together in the pandemic time, we did a good job. We need to pay more attention to this.''
BHRF General Secretary Rashed Rabbi delivered the welcome speech at the event.