From the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, every major pharmaceutical company in the world has been trying to produce vaccines. Thanks to the tireless nights spent in laboratories by numerous scientists, multiple Covid-19 vaccines have already been approved for mass distribution within just one year. Notable ones include Moderna, Pfizer and the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine.
Science has done its job as usual. Next up is the government.
And to succeed in its job, good governance, excellent management, and leadership skills are some of the most important features that are required most in a government. Otherwise, the government may fail to optimise the outcome of the vaccination process and all of their efforts may become futile. On top of that,iIt is very important to get most people in a country vaccinated as soon as possible. Because, the longer it takes, the more people will die.
The developed countries were believed to have the most success in the mass vaccination program. What most pundits did not expect, however, was the immense success of a country that has just developed into a middle-income country. However, with the mass introduction of the vaccine, this country has already set a precedent that has once again proved its efficiency and capability. Earlier, the country also showed considerable success in controlling the spread of the coronavirus as well.
Yes, I am talking about Bangladesh.
The way in which the coronavirus vaccine has been introduced in the country this time is highly commendable. We should remember that Bangladesh is a country with a population of approximately 160 million. In order to achieve herd immunity against Covid-19, about 120 million people have to be vaccinated anyway. Needless to say, the task is very difficult because the population of Bangladesh is 10 to 15 times more than many developed countries. In fact, Bangladesh ranks eighth in the world in terms of population, which means 2.1 percent of the world's population lives in this country. If you take other successful countries as examples of Covid-19 vaccination programs, then Bangladesh is on top of many of them.
Questions may arise, how and why?
The Bangladesh government promised its people that when the developed countries of the world get the vaccine, the people of the country will also get it. We must remember that Bangladesh itself has not yet developed any vaccine. There has been no trial of any vaccine on the people of Bangladesh. Yet the promise to bring the vaccine in advance and to implement it on a par with the developed countries was a very courageous act. In the end, we saw that the government kept its word. The vaccine arrived in Bangladesh at the beginning of the year.
Another reason is that Bangladesh deserves praise. The government has taken initiative to give free vaccines to all the people of Bangladesh. In just 19 days after the start of the mass vaccination program, about 3.2 million people have already been vaccinated. This number is close to half of the total population of many developed countries. We must remember that the government of the country is giving free vaccines to every citizen, not with private sector assistance, but with government capacity.
Atikul Islam Imon is a Journalist at Sarabangla.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.