More than 2.60 crore people in the country have so far received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, which is 12.05% of the total population.
The number of fully vaccinated people will increase if the second dose is given on 28 October to 72 lakh people who received the first shot under a special vaccination campaign at the end of September, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) says.
Bangladesh is lagging behind its South Asian neighbours in terms of the proportion of the population vaccinated. Only Afghanistan has vaccinated fewer people (1.1%) and other South Asian nations fully vaccinated more than 20% of their total population.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) South East Asian Covid-19 Vaccination Dashboard, among neighbours, Bhutan stands at the top after inoculating 68.43% of its population with both doses, followed by 64.85% vaccinated in the Maldives, 59.70% in Sri Lanka.
On 21 October, India touched the milestone of inoculating 100 crore people. The country has so far fully vaccinated 21.45 % of its population while the ratio is 17.50 % in Pakistan.
The DGHS, in its verified facebook page, stated that 72 lakh people who got vaccinated in the special inoculation campaign on 28 September marking the prime minister's birthday will get 2nd dose of vaccine in nationwide vaccination programme on 28 October.
On the day, the second dose of vaccines will be administered to people in all city corporations, municipalities and upazilas under the special vaccination campaign, it added.
Experts say Bangladesh has the capability (manpower, structural facility and people to be vaccinated) to vaccinate many people quickly. But the country cannot vaccinate people due to the shortage of vaccine doses.
Professor Nazrul Islam, noted Virologist and member of the National technical advisory committee on covid-19 told the Business Standard, "We don't get many vaccines at once so we can't vaccinate more people quickly. The pace of vaccination sways depending on the availability of the vaccine. For that alongside importing vaccines, the country needs to expedite the process for vaccine production."
So far, around 7.50 crore doses of vaccines, including those imported and gifts, have arrived in the country.
The DGHS says 6.90 crore doses of the vaccine have been administered to people so far. Of these, more than 4.30 crore people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. And 2.60 crore people are fully vaccinated.
So far 56,312,000 people have registered to get the vaccine. More than 1.60 crore people are waiting for the first dose of vaccine by registering and 1.96 crore people are waiting for the second dose, it added.
According to the DGHS, at present, more than 6 lakh vaccines-- including first and second doses-- are administered to people daily. They have a plan to increase it to 10-15 lakh doses a day.
Professor Dr Nazmul Islam, DGHS spokesperson, told TBS, "We are working to increase the scope for the vaccination. But everything depends on the availability of the vaccine. The rate of vaccination will be further increased depending on the stock of vaccines."
Earlier on 21 October, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, "As per the schedule we have with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and China regarding vaccines being sent to the country, from November more than three crore people will get vaccinated every month."
"We have purchased 21 crore Covid-19 vaccines, which are coming to the country in phases. With that, we will vaccinate three crore people monthly," he said.
Daily Covid deaths drop to 5
Bangladesh reported five more deaths from Covid-19 and 289 new cases in the last 24 hours till 8am Monday.
The current positivity rate was reported at 1.39% after 20,773 samples were tested across the country.
With the latest additions, the death toll reached 27,828 and the case tally increased to 1,567,981 in the country.