Bangladesh to administer 40 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines every month from January


Slum dwellers get COVID-19 vaccine at the Pollibondhu Ershad School in Korail Slum, in Dhaka, Bangladesh Nov 16, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

DHAKA - Bangladesh will administer 40 million doses of COVID-19 doses every month from January next year, a minister has said.

"We are taking the initiative to give vaccines in every ward of the country starting next month. Hopefully, we will be able to meet our targets by next May-June," Zahid Maleque, minister for Health and Family Welfare, was quoted as saying in a report of leading local news agency UNB on Wednesday.

Maleque said that Bangladesh has been praised by the world for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the minister warned that vaccines alone will not contain its surge.

"We have to follow the proper hygiene," he said a day after Bangladesh on Tuesday started administering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots in the backdrop of the rapid transmission of the new variant.

Frontliners and the elderly will be given priority for booster shots, Lokman Hossain Miah, senior secretary of Bangladesh's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told journalists.

Bangladesh began the COVID-19 vaccination drive in January to contain the pandemic that had spread across the country.

The Bangladeshi government subsequently halted administering the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine after India banned vaccine exports.

In June, the vaccination drive resumed in parts of the country with the China-donated Sinopharm vaccine.

Bangladesh's COVID-19 vaccination drive has already achieved a milestone of administering more than 100 million vaccine doses, mostly Chinese-made.

According to the figures released Wednesday by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) under the Ministry of Health, about 120 million vaccine doses have so far been administered, including more than 89 million Chinese vaccine doses.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Wednesday that it had delivered over 100 million COVID-19 vaccines to Bangladesh from multiple World Health Organization (WHO)-approved manufacturers since June 2021.

The threshold was passed after Bangladesh received a shipment of 20.46 million doses of vaccines from China on Tuesday, part of a cost-sharing agreement between the Bangladesh government, the Asian Development Bank and UNICEF.


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