Although the Covid vaccination rollout is the "biggest and fastest in history," many people most at risk are still not protected against the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday, announcing an updated inoculation strategy. The plan prioritises vaccinating 100 percent of healthcare workers and vulnerable groups, including older people and those with underlying conditions, in line with efforts to vaccinate 70 percent of the global population. More than 12 billion Covid vaccine doses have been administered worldwide to date, resulting in countries reaching 60 percent of their populations on average. Yet only 28 percent of older people and 37 percent of healthcare workers in low-income countries have received their primary course of vaccines, and most have not had booster doses. "Even where 70 percent vaccination coverage is achieved, if significant numbers of health workers, older people and other at-risk groups remain unvaccinated, deaths will continue, health systems will remain under pressure and the global recovery will be at risk," UN health agency chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. Read: Animal-to-human diseases rise in Africa: WHO "Vaccinating all those most at risk is the single best way to save lives, protect health systems and keep societies and economies open." The updated strategy focuses on the need to measure progress in vaccinating these priority groups and developing targeted approaches to reach them, which also includes gaining greater access to more displaced people through humanitarian response. Accelerating the development of improved vaccines, and ensuring equitable access to substantially reduce virus transmission, is a top priority. While current vaccines were designed to prevent serious illness and death, and have saved millions of lives, they have not substantially reduced transmission, the WHO said. With Covid still circulating widely, and new and dangerous variants emerging, the UN agency stressed that it is fundamental to continue investing in research and development towards more effective and easier ways to administer vaccines, such as via nasal spray products
The overall number of Covid cases has crossed 246 million amid the global race to vaccinate masses against the infectious disease. According to Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the total case count mounted to 246, 366,054 while the death tally from the virus reached 4,994,688 until Sunday morning. The US has recorded 45,949,951 cases to date and more than 745,678 people have died so far from the virus in the country, as per the university data. Brazil, which has been experiencing a new wave of cases since January, registered 21,804,094 cases so far, while its Covid death toll rose to 607,694. India's COVID-19 tally rose to 34,260,470 on Saturday, as 14,313 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the federal health ministry's latest data. Besides, 549 more deaths were recorded since Friday morning, taking the death toll to 457,740. Russia on Saturday reported a record number of new coronavirus infections as authorities hope to stem the rising contagion by keeping most people off work for the next week, reports AP. Also read: Merck agrees to let other drug makers make its COVID pill The government’s coronavirus task force reported 40,251 new infections in 24 hours, exceeding the previous record 40,096 reported on Thursday. It said 1,160 people died of the virus over the past day, three fewer than the record set a day earlier. That brought Russia’s official COVID-19 death count to 237,380, by far the largest in Europe. More than 8.47 million infections have been recorded in the country of 146 million during the pandemic. Situation in Bangladesh Though the coronavirus pandemic has eased in Bangladesh, it killed eight more people and infected 166 others in 24 hours till Saturday morning. The daily-case positivity rate declined to 1.25 per cent from Friday’s 1.71 per cent. The fresh cases were detected after testing 13,240 samples, said the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). With the fresh numbers, the Covid-19 fatalities reached 27,862 while the caseload climbed to 1,569,328, according to DGHS. Among the deceased, six were men and two were women. However, the mortality rate rose to 1.78 per cent from Friday’s 1.77 per cent. Also read: IDA to provide $200 for creating jobs in Covid-stricken informal sector Also, the recovery rate stood at 97.69 per cent with the recovery of 181 more patients during the period. Mass vaccination Bangladesh on Thursday launched the second phase of its special nationwide mass vaccination drive, aiming to vaccinate 80 lakh people with the second shot in a day. The 9am to 3pm vaccination drive was part of the special campaign that was first unveiled on September 27 to mark Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 75th birthday. On September 28, the first phase of the special nationwide mass vaccination drive was launched. However, that target to inoculate 80 lakh people was not met in a single day. Across eight divisions, 66,25,123 people were vaccinated, "which is a record number of jabs inoculated in Bangladesh in a single day", the DGHS said. Besides, 80,93,236 people were vaccinated with the first dose under this campaign, which spilled over to September 29. Bangladesh on August 7 kicked off its mass vaccination drive to inoculate some 35 lakh people in six days. Vaccination of school students A new campaign to vaccinate school students, aged 12-17, against Covid-19 will kick off at 12 centers in Dhaka on November 1. Health Minister Zahid Maleque disclosed this while talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting on Thursday. Some 40,000 students will be vaccinated every day under the campaign, the minister said.
Preparations are going on to vaccinate 1 crore people of the country against Covid-19 within the next week, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Sunday. The minister said this while attending the inauguration ceremony of the 1st year MBBS class at BCPS auditorium in the capital. The health minister said the return of factory workers to their workplaces without maintaining the health protocols in one day’s notice might worsen the Covid situation. As Covid infections keep rising in the country, he urged all to abide by health guidelines unfailingly. A mass vaccination will start at the union level on August 7 and elderly people who do not have NID cards will be able to get vaccinated, said Maleque. READ: Govt to vaccinate Rohingyas gradually starting with above-55s: Foreign Secretary “We’re planning to bring pregnant women under the vaccination progamme, '' he added.