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8 crore people to be vaccinated by Dec-Jan: Health Minister

8 crore people to be vaccinated by Dec-Jan: Health Minister

Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque on Sunday (Oct 10) said eight crore people will be vaccinated by December and January as the country intensified its efforts to collect required quantity of Covid-19 jabs.

"We hope that we can collect 16 crore doses of coronavirus vaccines by January next year... meaning we will be able to inoculate eight crore people by this time," he told a press briefing on Covid-19 vaccine at the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons (BCPS) in Dhaka, local media reported citing Maidul Islam, public relation officer of the health ministry.

Senior secretary of Health Service Division Lokman Hossain Mian, Director General of Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam and senior officials of relevant organizations, among others, were present at the press briefing.

Maleque said the government is planning to vaccinate children aged between 12 and 17 years as the World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed on Pfizer jabs for this age group (12 to 17) of kids. "Children will be allowed to complete their registration using birth registration certificate," he added.

Both infection and fatality rate have started decreasing sharply since late August as the government expanded vaccination programme up to grassroots level, the health minister said.

The health ministry sources said Bangladesh set a target to vaccinate the country's 80 percent population by 2022 under an accelerated inoculation campaign, expecting receipt of required Covid-19 jabs within estimated timeline, it added.

Till to date, Bangladesh has collected nearly seven crore doses of vaccines, the DGHS sources said.

As of Oct 9, 3,61,78,946 people received first dose of Covid-19 vaccine while 1,79,40,300 got second shot of the jab as the countrywide vaccination campaign was launched on Feb 7.

Bangladesh has so far approved eight Covid-19 vaccines to control the deadly disease. The approved Covid-19 vaccines are from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, CoronaVac, Pfizer, Covishield, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm.