Some 34% out of the country's 70% population targeted for Covid vaccination will be inoculated with vaccines getting under Covax facility, gifts from different countries.
Bangladesh government has so far made an arrangement of 32 crore doses of Covid vaccines – including purchase, gifts from China, India and other countries and Covax facility – which will reach the country in phases till April 2022.
"As we have no shortage vaccines, we have started administering booster doses to 60 plus people, health workers, frontliners and Covid patients before the outbreak of Omicron variety of Covid-19," Health Ministry Senior Secretary Lokman Hossain Miah said at the inaugural ceremony of the booster doses.
The government has so far purchased 21 crore doses of vaccines worth about Tk19,000 crore and the country will get 11 crore doses of vaccines under Covax facility, he adds.
Lokman Hossain further said 6 crore doses of vaccines will remain after fully inoculating 70% population as per government's target.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said Bangladesh needs 13 crore more doses of Covid vaccines owing to inoculating 70% of the population by April next year. For this, 6.55 crore doses of vaccines will arrive in the country within this month and 9 crore more doses by April 2022.
"Bangladesh received 1.78 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, donated by the US government through Covax. With this shipment, the American people donated 18.5 million doses of vaccines to Bangladesh," read a press release of the US Embassy on Sunday.
France donated 1,197,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Bangladesh under Covax on Sunday.
According to the data of the Directorate General of Health Services, Bangladesh has so far received 17 crore doses of vaccines – including purchase, gifts and Covax facility.
So far over 6.82 crore doses of vaccine were administered as the first dose and over 4.56 crore doses were given as the second dose, it adds.
Booster doses in 64 districts after next week
Runu Veronica Costa, a senior nurse of Kurmitola General Hospital and Bangladesh's maiden Covid-19 vaccine recipient in January this year, became the first booster dose recipient in the country.
While inaugurating the booster programme on Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said certification for Covid-19 booster dose remains halted as the Surokkha app is being updated.
"As per the ICT ministry, the app will be updated by 28 December,'' he adds.
Around 60 people including ministers, police and journalists received booster doses at the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons Auditorium.
On the day, five ministers – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Law Minister Anisul Huq, Health Minister Zahid Maleque, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim and, Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar – received the booster doses.
After observing the health condition of booster dose recipients, the booster doses will be administered in 64 districts to the frontline workers and senior citizens, who received their second dose at least six months ago after next week.
There is no need to further registration and eligible people will get SMS for the booster doses once Surokkha app is updated.
Bangladesh reported one Covid death and 211 new cases in the last 24 hours on Sunday.
With this, the death toll reached 28,048 and the case tally increased to 1,581,083 in the country.