Bangladesh will not conduct any new mass Covid inoculation drive as the supply of vaccine doses is much lower than the demand, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday.
“No more mass inoculation drives will be held in the country now as we do not have adequate vaccines in hand and we’ll not use the word ‘mass’ in future,” he told reporters at the Secretariat.
“We will call people to take jabs whenever we have vaccines in our hand,” he said.
“Those who will get SMS will go to the centres and we do not want to see any no long queues in front of vaccination centres,” said the minister.
Some eight crore people or more can be brought under Covid vaccination within next January and February if the vaccines are available, he hoped.
“A total of 60 lakh doses of Pfizer vaccine will arrive within September in the country and some will arrive this month,” he said adding “We have done a lot of work with vaccines in the past 15 days and many orders have been placed.”
A total of 7.5 crore doses of vaccine has been ordered from China. Besides, we have also got offers from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and we have procured those. I think there will be no scarcity of vaccines,” said Zahid.
“If we get the 16 crore doses of vaccine, we will be able to bring eight crore people under the vaccination programme which will arrive within December,” he said.
“There is a directive to vaccinate workers and we are giving Covid jabs to front liners. All the factory workers will be vaccinated in phases as we want all citizens to get Covid jabs and be safe. The mortality rate among those who received the jabs is less,” he added.
“Now the process to get second doses is underway and we are giving the second dose one month after receiving first dose and the prime minister has already asked to reduce the gap between the two doses and we are thinking to reduce it within 15-20 days,” said the minister.
The minister also urged the country's people to follow health guidelines.