Sinopharm Jabs: Vaccination begins on a limited scale
As the administration of the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine resumed yesterday after around two months, 2,956 students of public and private medical and dental colleges were given Sinopharm jabs in the capital, according to a DGHS press release.
The government had suspended administering the first dose on April 26 due to a shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccines. Recently, it decided to recommence the vaccination on a limited scale at 67 centres across the country, with around 11 lakh Sinopharm doses in hand.
As only medical and dental students were given the shots yesterday, others had to return from the centres without getting the vaccine. Health officials said only such students would be vaccinated for the next few days "to maintain discipline".
Of the 67 centers, four are in Dhaka city, including at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital and Mugda Medical College Hospital.
Visiting the Mugda hospital yesterday, a correspondent of The Daily Star saw many people heading home after failing to get the jab.
Ashim Kumar Nath, director of the hospital, said, "We have received 2,400 doses of Sinopharm vaccine. Currently, we are vaccinating students. Others who registered for the vaccination but have not received the first dose will get it once we overcome the shortage."
He said those people would be notified about their vaccination date via text.
At the DMCH centres, 303 students have been registered for the vaccination today, said sources there.
According to health officials, the inoculation campaign will continue from 8:00am to 3:00pm every day, except on Fridays and public holidays.
They said almost 15 lakh people, who have completed registration, have not yet got their first shot.
For now, only those who registered with the 67 centres but have not received the first shots will get priority in the current campaign, said a notice issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Frontline government health workers, police members, outgoing migrant workers (registered with the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training), cleaners of Dhaka's two city corporations, and ward or municipality workers involved in funerals will also get priority.
Besides, students of all government, private medical, dental, nursing, midwifery MATS and IHT colleges, residential students of all public universities, employees of the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, and the Chinese nationals in Bangladesh will also be eligible for the vaccination, the notice said.
The first dose of inoculation against Covid-19 resumed with the Sinopharm vaccine at a time when the country is witnessing a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths.
Bangladesh received the Sinopharm doses as a gift from the Chinese government in two installments.