The nationwide vaccination drive to jab 75 lakh people on the prime minister's birthday has witnessed a good turnout of people, especially women.
When vaccination rolled out in February this year, women initially did not show much interest in getting inoculated and the number of those who received shots was only from city and town areas.
The special one-day campaign met with a completely different picture - women vaccine seekers at the country's remote immunisation centres turned up in big numbers.
Bilkis Nahar, who got a vaccine dose at a Satkhira village centre, told The Business Standard, "I have received the jab without going through any hassle. More such campaigns should be conducted so that village people can easily get vaccinated."
The turnouts of women vaccine aspirants in Satkhira, Brahmanbaria, Moulvibazar, Noakhali, Bagerhat and Dinajpur were quite good as reported by our correspondents.
TBS, however, could not obtain the exact number of vaccine recipients across the country during the campaign till filing of the report.
The presence of women in receiving jabs was excellent as they were put on the priority list under the campaign, which will help to reduce the gap between men and women vaccine recipients, according to the health directorate.
The campaign, which was undertaken to bring more people under vaccination in a quick time, ran between 9 am and 4 pm. People aged 25 and above, who have already registered for the vaccine, were inoculated with the first dose during the campaign and the second dose will be given next month.
In the first two hours, women, older people and the physically-challenged were immunised as priority recipients.
It was for the first time Bangladesh attempted to vaccinate 75 lakh people in a day. The vaccination campaign was held at 4,000 union parishads, 1,054 municipalities and 443 city corporation wards. Each vaccination centre at the union level had a target to administer about 1,500 doses, each municipal centre 500 doses and each city corporation ward centre over 1,000 doses.
Many centres reached their respective inoculation targets, while many failed owing to a lack of necessary preparation coupled with bad weather conditions and they will have another day to fulfil their targets.
On 7 August, a six-day mass vaccination campaign started. At that time, over 50 lakh people were vaccinated. They were given the second dose during another campaign in September. But the campaign was marred by mismanagement and irregularities.
This time, a festive mood prevailed all around as there was no scope for on-the-spot registration.
Vaccine aspirant Md Farooq Hasan, at the Kalabagan Thana Community Centre in Dhaka South City Corporation ward, said, "Previously, during the mass vaccination campaign I had to go back several times without being jabbed owing to overcrowded centres. However, today I did not need to wait for a long time."
Volunteer Md Samiul Islam at the vaccination centre said, "Anyone aged over 60 can got inoculated today after showing NID card but it will not be the case for those who are yet to be registered."
In the meantime, the Dhaka South City Corporation vaccinated 28,702 people against its target of 26,250. The number of women recipients was 45%.
Masuma Akter, a vaccine recipient at a DSCC centre, said, "Thanks to the occasion of the prime minister's birthday, I was able to get vaccinated within just 10 minutes."
A festive mood centring vaccination campaign was reported in Brahmanbaria. The inoculation was carried out at 110 temporary centres in the district.
Although the drive began at 9 am, enthusiastic candidates started to gather at the centres from 6 am. Women were evidently more interested in being vaccinated.
According to the Civil Surgeon's Office, 1,53,000 doses were supposed to be given in the district.
In Cumilla, 3.4 lakh people received vaccine doses at 244 vaccination centres, while Dinajpur failed to meet their target as stated by its Civil Surgeon Dr Abdul Kuddus and they will complete the administering of the remaining doses on Wednesday.
Bagerhat witnessed an excellent turnout as the district administration jabbed 1.17 people.
According to the health directorate, as of 27 September, nearly 56% men and 44% women got the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, while over 57% men and 42.67% women received the second dose.