The first-ever countrywide adult vaccination drive will begin on Sunday to immunise people against Covid-19.
People will receive shots of the Covid vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India simultaneously at 1,005 hospitals across the country, including Dhaka. Health Minister Zahid Malik, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, many other ministers and state ministers and senior government officials will get the jab.
At a press briefing on Saturday, ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, said 2,400 teams of health workers would be deployed on the first day, with each team having the capacity to vaccinate 150 people. In total, 7,344 teams are ready to join the drive.
In Dhaka, 204 teams will engage 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.
However, the authority will be flexible regarding timing on the first day.
As many as 3 lakh 28 thousand and 13 people completed registration for the vaccine so far, Khurshid Alam said.
"All the vaccine centres are well prepared. We hope the drive will begin without any hindrance."
If one fails to get the shot as scheduled, he will be able to get it later. But the pre-registration is a must to get the vaccine. Health workers will also assist people to get the registration done at the centres.
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.