The World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the vaccination of those who are under 18 years of age in Bangladesh, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Sunday.
"I’ve met WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and he has given a nod to it [vaccination of those under 18] when we sought his advice on vaccination of students," he said.
The minister revealed the information at a press briefing on Covid-19 vaccine at BCPS auditorium in the capital.
The health minister said students between 12-17 years will be inoculated with US-produced Pfizer vaccine doses as it is suitable for them.
“We’re preparing for that. We’ve 6 million doses of Pfizer vaccine in stocks; we’ll get another four million doses soon. We’ve no crisis now.”
He also expressed the hope that the government will be able to vaccinate 8 crore people with double doses between December and January, and another 4 crore with double doses between March and April.
A total of 12 crore people will be fully vaccinated by April next, said the minister.
“Bangladesh will receive 3 crore more doses of Covid-19 vaccine in October, 3.75 crore in November, 5 crore in December and 3.75 crore in January. About 16 crore doses will be procured or collected from various sources by January.
On September 12, the students of schools and colleges in Bangladesh returned to their classrooms after an 18-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bangladesh started administering the first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at three centres in Dhaka to fight off Covid-19 on June 21.
The United States said it is committed to leading the global response to the Covid-19 pandemic and they will begin this summer the allocation of 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine it is providing to Gavi for distribution by COVAX to countries around the world.
US President Joe Biden reaffirmed this commitment by announcing that his country will donate 80 million doses of vaccines to support global needs.
Vaccination drive in Bangladesh
So far, 1,79,40,300 people have fully been vaccinated in the country while 3,61,78,946 received the first dose as of Saturday, according to the Directorate General of Health Services(DGHS).
On January 27, Prime Minister Hasina launched the Covid-19 vaccination programme at Kurmitola General Hospital through a videoconference.
The government rolled out a countrywide mass Covid-19 vaccination drive on February 7 vaccinating people aged 55 and above in the first phase.
On July 29, the government lowered the minimum age limit for taking Covid-19 jabs to 25 from 30 years in a bid to give a boost to the lagging vaccination rates in the country.