With a plan to bring 80 percent people of the country under the mass immunisation programme in phases, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday said the government will vaccinate 25 lakh people each month.
He came up with the announcement while presenting the national budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year in Parliament.
“Plans have been formulated to vaccinate 80 percent of people in phases. In the first phase, people with risks will be vaccinated and 25 lakh vaccines will be given each month,” the minister said.
Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent announcement that the government will ensure free vaccination for all, Kamal said they will provide as much fund as it is needed to bear the expenses of procuring the required doses of vaccine. “We’ll make adequate allocation for this purpose in the budget.”
He said the vaccination programme is being implemented at the field level through coordination between the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) and the Communication Disease Control (CDC).
Kamal said the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan has been prepared under the EPI to protect the lives of people from Covid-19.
“The government procured 3 crore doses of Covishield vaccine of Oxford-AstraZeneca from the Serum Institute of India. In addition, 6.80 crore doses will be available from the Covax facility under the World Health Organisation for 20 percent of our population, that is, for 3.40 crore people. Out of this 1.06 lakh doses have already been received,” he said.
The minister said there are plans to buy vaccines from the governments of China and Russia, Pfizer Co. from the USA and Sanofi/GSK from France/Belgium. “Negotiations are at the final stage for procuring Sinopharm vaccine from China and Sputnik-V vaccine from Russia, and, if necessary, manufacturing the same in Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, 70 lakh doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine reached Bangladesh, and the governments of India and China gave 32 lakh doses and 5 lakh doses respectively of coronavirus vaccine as gifts.
The finance minister said the World Bank provided US$ 500 million for procuring vaccines and US$ 14.87 million for logistic support.
“Loan Agreement for US$ 940 million with the ADB to procure COVID vaccine is at the final stage. Alongside, there is a good possibility to receive support for vaccine procurement from the European Investment Bank and AIIB,” he added.