Booster doses for the Covid-19 vaccine will be administered to those frontliners and senior citizens, who received their second dose at least nine months ago, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said today.
"Those who were vaccinated during the initial days of the inoculation programme will come under the early booster dose drive," the minister said at an event in Manikganj on Saturday.
Zahid Maleque said, "Pfizer Covid-19 booster dose will be used at this phase as the vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO)."
The health minister also noted that the experimental administration of the booster dose will begin on Sunday at the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS).
The program will later expand across the country in phases.
The minister yesterday said those aged over 60 and seriously ill will be jabbed with a booster dose of Covid vaccine starting Sunday.
Earlier, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 recommended booster shots to citizens above 60 and front liners.
The senior citizens and front-liners who got the two doses of vaccine six months ago should get preference in receiving the booster dose, the NTAC recommended at a meeting.
It also suggested taking steps to limit public gatherings, meetings, and rallies to contain the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Last Monday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina instructed health officials to make preparations to administer Covid vaccine booster doses, or third doses, amid the emergence of the 'Omicron' variant in numerous countries of the world.
The PM instructed this at a cabinet meeting over the omicron situation.
On 9 December, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Omicron is now present in 57 countries and asked all countries to stay alert about the new variant.
A WHO panel named the Coronavirus variant "Omicron" and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant, which is still causing higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the USA.
Amid growing concern over this new variant of coronavirus, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) suggested the implementation of 15 instructions to prevent the spread of the new variant and urged all concerned to take measures to enforce the instructions.
After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh on 27 January, the health ministry rolled out the inoculation drive at five government hospitals in Dhaka on 28 January.