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The authorities have extended the nationwide daylong Covid-19 vaccination campaign till tomorrow (July 21) aiming to fulfill the target of administering 75 lakh people with second and booster dose.
"We have set a target of administering 75 lakh people... on the first day of the campaign, nearly 60 lakh were inoculated with coronavirus vaccines and two more days are needed to fulfill target," Dr Shamsul Haque, member secretary of the National Covid-19 Vaccine Management Task force, told BSS today.
The nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign began at 9am on Tuesday across the country, he said adding all designated centres have been directed to conduct the drive till tomorrow, he added.
"We have considered the countrywide vaccination campaign as a successful one because we have been able to inoculate nearly 60 lakh people," Haque said.
Haque said in case of administering first and second dose of coronavirus vaccine, Bangladesh has made a significant progress, which has acted as a shield to fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have conducted a series of special vaccination campaign, which virtually yielded good result in expansion of vaccination coverage. Now we want to increase booster dose coverage to prevent the outbreak of the coronavirus," he added.
"The government decided to observe the nationwide vaccination campaign that began yesterday for expanding booster dose coverage across the country to prevent the spread of coronavirus," Health Minister Zahid Maleque told a press conference virtually at Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) here on Monday (July 18).
"The people aged 18 and above will be eligible for receiving Covid-19 booster dose during the daylong campaign ...They (eligible people) will be inoculated booster dose after completing four months," he added.
Maleque said as part of controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has brought 76.05 percent people under first dose of vaccination coverage, 70.3percent under second dose while 17.9 percent people have been brought under the booster dose coverage.
Bangladesh has been lauded globally for expansion of vaccination coverage which eventually has helped the countrymen to protect from the lethal virus, he said, adding, "Five types of vaccines -- Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Sinopharm, Sinovac and Janssen -- are now available in the country. We have 2.76 crore vaccines in stock."
The government has set up 16,181 vaccination centres across the country, the health minister said, adding, "As many as 623 are permanent vaccination centres while 15,558 are set temporarily to conduct the nationwide campaign."
The health ministry sources said in order to inoculate targeted people, a total of 33,246 health workers performed their duties during the campaign while some 49,869 volunteers extended their services to make the vaccination drive a success.
Maleque said vaccination centres have been set up at all public hospitals, specialized hospitals, health complexes, city corporations, pouroshovas, upazila and unions parishads.
Dr Ayesha Akhter, a physician of TB hospital at Shyamoli said, "People started gathering at our hospital from early hours today and the trend of receiving second and booster dose is higher than other days.
"Those who have already received first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine should take booster dose. As COVID-19 vaccination programme was launched last year now it is the right time to increase booster dose coverage to control the spread of the virus," she added.
As of July 19, a total of 28,58,82,959 doses of Covid-19 vaccines, including booster doses, were administered while the countrywide vaccination campaign was launched on February 7, last year.
"A total of 12,95,86,721 people were administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine till yesterday (Monday) while 12,01,05,423 received the second dose across the country during the period," according to a data issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
As many as 3,61,90,815 people received the booster doses of the vaccine to prevent the spread of the deadly virus, it added.
"A total of 3,34,31,316 students aged 12-17 years were vaccinated with first and second doses of the Covid-19 vaccines. Of them, 1,73,49,527 students received the first dose while 1,60,81,789 were immunized with the second dose of the jabs," the DGHS sources said.
Some 3,73,207 floating people have so far been inoculated across the country, the sources added.
"Till date, Bangladesh received over 30 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines... Either the country got the vaccine doses under COVAX facilities or through purchase," the DGHS continued.
"The government has taken the decision to inoculate children aged between five and 12 years with Covid-19 vaccines after approval of the World Health Organization (WHO)... The country has sufficient number of vaccines, which are eligible for the children," the health ministry sources said.
There are 2.20 crore children aged between five and 12 in the country, the ministry said, adding: "Registration is mandatory for them through "Surokkha App" for receiving the vaccine."
On November 1, 2021, the vaccination campaign for students, aged between 12 and 17, began at eight centers in Dhaka city. Afterwards, the campaign has been expanded across the country.