01/12/2021, 12.45
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Bangladesh waiting for coronavirus vaccination

by Sumon Corraya

Immunisation is expected to start in the first week of February. To be vaccinate, people must register online via a vaccine app starting on 26 January.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – Since last December, developed countries have started vaccinating against the coronavirus, but a developing country like Bangladesh is still waiting.

Nevertheless, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) yesterday announced that the country's vaccination campaign against COVID-19 will begin in the first week of February.

The government plans to give elderly people half of the first five million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that will come from the Seram Institute of India.

The government said from the start that frontline health workers would be among the first to get vaccinated.

“Beximco Pharmaceuticals has informed us that the vaccines will arrive in Bangladesh between January 21 and 25,” said DGHS director general Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam at a press conference in his office.

“We will start the vaccination programme a week from that,” he added. “That means the vaccination process will begin across the country in the first week of February.”

Mr Khurshid Alam noted that in order to be vaccinated, people must register online via a vaccine app starting on 26 January. The mobile application is nearing completion and will be authorised by the relevant ministry on the same day.

The vaccination plan prioritises health care workers, freedom fighters, law enforcement and defence personnel, government employees, journalists and elected officials.

About a million governmental and non-governmental health workers will receive the vaccine.

Clerics, migrant and bank workers are also included in the first stage, but highly vulnerable segments of the population, including the elderly, factory and white-collar workers, transport workers, rickshaw pullers and day labourers are not included.

Five million people will receive the vaccination every month. Under the plan, priority groups will receive two doses of the vaccine in the space of eight weeks. In a letter of consent, vaccine recipients will declare that they are willingly taking the vaccine.

People under 18, pregnant women and very ill people will not receive the vaccine.

People expressed hope that vaccination could save them from the coronavirus.

“The vaccination against the coronavirus is a blessing for us,” said Nur Ul Hossian, a 40-year-old teacher speaking to AsiaNews. “It's time to put an end to the pandemic.” He thanks the inventor of the vaccine.

So far, Bangladesh has reported 523,302 cases of COVID-19; 467,718 have recovered whilst 7,803 have died.

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