Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today formally inaugurated the COVID-19 vaccination campaign at Kurmitola General Hospital through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence.
The much-anticipated inoculation drive began with vaccinating a nurse at first while some 20-25 frontline Covid-19 fighters, including physicians, nurses, health workers, members of law enforcement agencies and army and journalists, will be inoculated on the first day.
Runu Veronika Costa, senior staff nurse, received COVID-19 vaccine at first at Kurmitola General Hospital. Afterwards, four others — Dr Ahmed Lutful Moben, Additional Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Nasima Sultana, Md Didarul Islam (traffic police) and Brig Gen M Imran Hamid also received coronavirus vaccines.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque, Secretary of Health Service Division Abdul Mannan, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, heads of different relevant organizations, senior officials and medical professionals, among others, were present at the function.
PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the function from the Ganabhaban.
Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Prof Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam said 500 to 600 medical professionals of five hospitals — Kurmitola General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital, Mugda Medical College Hospital, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) — will be given these vaccines ahead of launching countrywide drive.
They (vaccine receivers) will be observed for seven days. After the end of their seven-observation, other listed people will be vaccinated during the nationwide vaccinations campaign.
The countrywide vaccination drive is set to begin on February 7, the health ministry said.
Bangladesh received its first ever COVID-19 vaccine consignment on January 21 (Thursday) as India sent 20 lakh doses of vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca as gift.
The first consignment of COVID-19 50 lakh Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines purchased by the government landed in Dhaka on January 25.
The total vaccine doses stand at 70 lakh doses now. The government has taken all necessary preparations for distribution and preservation of these 70 lakh doses of vaccine.
The possible vaccine recipients as per the priority list are 452,027 government health workers and approved 600,000 private health workers directly engaged in the Covid-19 health services.
The other priority groups includes 210,000 freedom fighters, 546,620 members of the frontline law enforcement agencies, 360,913 members from the military and civil defense forces, 50,000 officials and employees working in the offices which are indispensable for governing the state, 50,000 frontline media personnel, 178,298 elected representatives, 150,000 frontline employees of the city corporations and pourasabhas, 541,000 religious representatives, 75,000 people engaged in funeral works, 400,000 staff engaged in emergency water, gas, sewerage, power, fire service and transport services.
Besides, 150,000 workers of land, river and air ports, 120,000 expatriate unskilled workers, 400,000 government employees engaged in district and upazila-level emergency public services, 197,621 officials and employees of banks, 625,000 low immunity people (tuberculosis, AIDS and cancer patients), 10,326,658 elderly people from the 64-79 age group, 1,312,973 elderly people from the 80-plus age group, 21,863 players of the national teams (including football, cricket and hockey national teams) and 170,000 people from buffer, emergency and outbreak groups are included in the list.