The government will soon begin vaccinating 30 lakh schoolgoing minors in the 12-17 age bracket, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said.
The children will be inoculated with Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine, he told reporters on Sunday during a press briefing at the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS) in Mohakhali of the capital.
Registration of children for the vaccination will be done using their birth certificates or school certificates.
The minister said the World Health Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, a public-private global health partnership, have nodded to the initiative.
"I have talked to the WHO director-general and Gavi representatives. They said we can go ahead with the vaccination to prevent infection."
Also, he said, "Gavi has promised to provide us with increasing Moderna and Pfizer doses."
At present, the government has 60 lakh Pfizer Covid-19 doses in stock, all of which will be used to fully inoculate 30 lakh children, according to Zahid.
Speaking about the registration for the jabs, the health minister said, "Children do not have any national identity card, but they have a birth certificate. They can also register using their school certificate. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division has been asked to facilitate the process in this regard."
Plans to increase daily vaccination to 10-15 lakh
The government is planning to massively increase the number of daily vaccine receivers up to 15 lakh a day, according to the health minister.
Currently, four to six lakh people are getting the jabs each day.
"We have vaccinated 80 lakh people in one day. This has revealed our capacity to vaccinate people. As we are getting more vaccines in our hands, we will be increasing the number of doses given each day."
"The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has been directed to provide 10-15 lakh doses every day. If required, we will launch one or two large campaigns for this."
The ICT Division has also been instructed to increase the registration capacity as well, he added.
Plans to fully inoculate 12 crore people by April
The government is planning to fully inoculate 8 crore people by the end of the year and another 4 crore people by April 2021.
"We have ensured the supply of vaccines. It is possible to provide double doses to 8 crore people by the end of December. By March-April of the next year, 12 crore people will be completely innocluted. In addition, 70% of the population will be given vaccine by that period."
So far, 3.55 crore (21.6%) people have got the first dose against the coronavirus, while the number of fully vaccinated people stands at 1.77 crore.
The health minister informed reporters that by January 2021, the government will receive another 12 crore doses of vaccines from several sources.
Bangladesh reports 14 Covid-19 deaths, 481 cases in a day
Bangladesh reported 14 more deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours till 8 am Sunday.
Besides, 481 more people contracted the virus during the same period.
The positivity rate on the day dropped to 2.36% with 20,355 samples tested across the country, according to health officials.
With the latest additions, the death toll reached 27,688 and the case tally climbed to 15,62,359 in the country.