Chattogram is fast running out of its Covid-19 vaccines stock, with hundreds of second dose recipient being forced to return without getting the jab.
Despite no specific announcement from the health department to stop the vaccination programme several vaccination centres in the city were forced to stop giving the second dose of the vaccine on Sunday, said officials.
According to the Chattogram Civil Surgeon's Office, about 1.5 lakh second-dose recipients are yet to get the jab, with only 27,380 doses in the Chattogram health department's stock.
The second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is being given in the district from 8 April. Till Saturday, 3 lakh 11 thousand 377 people have received the second dose of vaccine, while 4 lakh 53 thousand 760 people got the first dose.
Meanwhile, recipients of the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine staged protests and blocked the road in front of the Chittagong General Hospital on the day, after the hospital announced a halt to its vaccination programme.
Vaccine recipients said they were not being vaccinated on various 'pretexts' after standing in line for hours in front of the centre.
Sakhawat Hossain, a resident of the city's Chawkbazar area said he was not given the second dose of the vaccine he did not receive a confirmation SMS.
"I received my first dose in March. My registration card says I am supposed to get my second dose today (Sunday). But when I entered the hospital after waiting in line for three hours, they told me the vaccine would not be given without a confirmation SMS," Sakhawat said standing in front of the Chittagong General Hospital.
Asked about this, CCC Chief Health Officer Dr Selim Akhtar Chowdhury said, "Those who have not been given the date and the confirmation SMS for the vaccination are also crowding for the centres. In this situation, the second dose vaccination activities have been halted without confirmation SMS."
However, vaccine recipients complained that no specific announcement was made about the SMS. The second dose was being given following the date on the registration card from the very start, no SMS confirmation was needed.
Severe Vaccine Shortage
Due to a shortage of vaccines, the second-dose vaccination rate has been reduced by two-thirds since the beginning of May in the district.
Since the beginning of April, an average of 18,500 second doses was given daily. But, since the beginning of May, the numbers dwindled to about 6,000, data by the Civil Surgeon's Office shows.
Meanwhile, admitting the vaccine shortage, Mohammad Ali, a health official of CCC, said, 'There is a vaccine crisis all over the country. We also have a shortage of stocks. At most, we will be able to continue vaccination for one more day."
Director of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), Brigadier General SM Humayun Kabir said, "We have run out of vaccines here. I have carried out activities today with a limited number of vaccines. The vaccination programme will be closed from tomorrow."
Dr Hasan Shahriar Kabir, director (Chattogram division) of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Business Standard, "There is no vaccine in Chattogram. A limited number of people are being vaccinated in the district. CMCH is almost closed. It may take another day or two at the General Hospital in Anderkilla. Without new supplies, it will not be possible to continue vaccination after Eid."