As frontline Covid-19 fighters, bank officials are entitled to the novel coronavirus vaccine as part of the first phase of the rollout, says the Ministry of Health.
Stating the ministry's decision, the Financial Institutions Division sent a letter to the central bank on 20 January. The Bangladesh Bank asked banks to send over their staff lists.
To curb the novel coronavirus' spread, the government shut all offices on 26 March last year. However, banks and other emergency services remained open on a limited scale during the 66-day public holidays.
At that time, bankers said they struggled to get to work, owing to the suspension of public transportation. They were also concerned about customers crowding various branches and flouting virus safety measures.
Many bankers contracted the virus, while some officials died while on-duty on the frontlines.
Doctors, health workers, members of law enforcement, journalists, and emergency service providers were originally on the vaccine priority list, while bankers have now joined the group.
In the central bank's notification in this regard, banks were asked to submit their staff lists through e-mail by the afternoon of 21 January. Banks were asked to send the lists following the central bank's format.
On Thursday, 20 lakh doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, a gift from neighbouring India, arrived in Bangladesh. From Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, the shots were then transported to the Padma State Guest House, where Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Health Minister Zahid Maleque formally received the gift from Indian High Commissioner Vikram K Doraiswami in the afternoon.