After conducting a trial run for more than a week, Bangladesh is going to start administering Covid-19 booster shots to senior citizens and frontline workers from Tuesday, said Health Services Division Senior Secretary Lokman Hossain Miah.
"Only those who have received both their vaccine doses will get the booster shots. They will get a text message from their designated vaccination centres," he said during an event at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) in Dhaka on Monday.
"No one will be allowed to get the booster jabs without the SMS from the Surokkha website," he added.
Asked about the number of vaccination centres which will provide the jabs, he said, "For the time being, the number [of centres] will remain limited as the Surokkha app has not been updated yet.
"We have seen thousands of flights, around the world, get cancelled due to Omicron in the past few days. Here in Bangladesh, we have confirmed a few cases of the latest coronavirus variant. So, everyone needs to get vaccinated and wear masks to protect themselves from Omicron."
The senior secretary also said that they had spoken with officials at grassroots level to create mass awareness on vaccinations.
Initially, the Covid-19 booster shots will be administered within Dhaka with the programme gradually expanding across the country, sources said.
Earlier, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the registration through the Surokkha App for the booster doses will start at the end of December after updating the app.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh reported one more death from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours till 8am on Monday.
Besides, 373 more people tested positive for the virus during the same period.
The current positivity rate was recorded at 2.16%, up from 1.57% a day ago after 17,271 samples were tested across the country.
According to the health division data analysis, last week (December 20 to 26), 2,170 people were newly identified with Covid-19, rising from 1,758 in the previous week (December 13 to 19).
Before that (December 6 to 12), 1,882 people were infected. So, the number of newly identified patients has increased by 23.4% in the last week as compared to the previous week.
The death toll reached 28,061 and the case tally increased to 15,83,626 in the country.
Also, 323 patients were declared free of Covid-19 during the last 24 hours, making the recovery rate 97.73%.
Globally, over 280 million people have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 5.40 million have died, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
Bangladesh's maiden cases were reported on 8 March last year and the first death from the virus was reported on 18 March.