Piloting of the government’s Covid-19 inoculation programme will launch on Wednesday through vaccinating a nurse at the capital’s Kurmitola General Hospital.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the programme virtually, said Abdul Mannan, secretary of the health services division at the health ministry.
After the nurse, 24 other frontline workers, including journalists and members of the civil society, will get the vaccine shot, he added.
From January 28, around 400-500 people will be inoculated at multiple vaccination points in five hospitals of the capital every day. People getting shots will be observed for seven days for adverse effects.
The five hospitals are Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Mugda General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University,
However, officials have yet to finalise the list of frontline health workers who would be vaccinated at the beginning.
“Some 80-100 employees will be vaccinated on the first day [Jan 28],” said Col Md Nazmul Haque, director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), adding that there are almost 8,000 employees at his organisation.
There will be four vaccination kiosks at the DMCH.
“We are planning to start vaccination amid much merriment. There will be pre-and-post vaccination waiting spaces near the booths,” said the DMCH director.
The team of vaccinators might be accompanied by doctors at the DMCH, he said.
As per the National Vaccination Plan, there will be two vaccinators — nurses or sub assistant medical officers — and four volunteers in each team. A total of 7,344 teams will be deployed across the country.
The government plans to roll out Covid-19 vaccines, bought from Serum Institute of India, early next month.
The general public will be able to register for vaccination through a mobile app from January 26. The department of Information and Communication Technology (DOICT) will release the app after receiving permission from the Prime Minister’s office, officials said.
However, those who do not have a national identity card or a passport will not be able to register using the app, said N M Zeaul Alam, senior secretary at the DOICT.
Bangladesh received 20 lakh doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a gift from the Indian government on Thursday.
Bangladesh also purchased three crore doses of the vaccine from Serum Institute of India.
Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited, the local agent of Serum, said they have yet to receive the shipping documents for the first shipment of the vaccine doses.
“The tentative date of arrival is January 25 or 26. Once we get the details, we will be able to tell when and how many doses we will receive. Hopefully, we will get the details tomorrow [today],” Beximco Managing Director Nazmul Hassan Papon told The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, lists of frontline workers who will be prioritised for inoculation have not been finalised yet.
On January 13, Shamsul Haque Mridha of the Expanded Programme on Immunization, sent a letter to all deputy commissioners, asking for lists of frontline workers. But the health department has yet to receive the lists from every district.