The Financial Express

Covid-19 vaccine outline

| Updated: October 26, 2021 21:59:43

Covid-19 vaccine outline

Against the backdrop of reassuring developments vis-à-vis Covid-19 vaccination, the information about many not getting their SMS for their very first dose is surprising. The news released by an agency says a large number of people registering online with the relevant authorities for the vaccine have yet to receive the desired SMS containing the date and venue of the first jab. According to many, despite registering with the Surokkha website, run by the health services authorities, weeks/months ago, they haven't yet received any SMS confirming acknowledgement of their registration. The vaccine-seekers keep waiting patiently for the Surokkha response.

Meanwhile, upon reaching the end of their tethers, a section of people have lost their earlier enthusiasm over the shots. They have literally left themselves at the mercy of fate. According to people observing the situation, the untoward development may have been caused by the apparently baffled managements. Given the people in general lately coming free of the inhibitions surrounding the Covid-19 shots, and volunteering to get the vaccines, the developments over the delayed SMS may have upset many. In reality these people are compulsively optimist. Thanks to the arrival of overseas vaccines and the people's increased interest to get properly inoculated, there was no greater fracas. Although only a tiny percentage of people have been vaccinated across the country till now, the higher authorities are hopeful of vaccinating over 80 per cent of the population. It is not an absurd proposition if the cross-country campaign can be conducted pragmatically.

Notwithstanding this high optimism, the non-receipt of Surokkha SMS by people eager to get inoculated runs the risk of apathy of sorts growing among the people otherwise interested in getting the jabs. These unexpected snags ought to be dealt with efficiently. On its part, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has admitted to a few stark realities. As they have found, a number of vaccination centres have lately been overwhelmed with Surokkha-registered jab seekers. As a result, they have to take time in giving dates for both first and second doses. The inoculation programmes should not have taken such a long time to complete. They ought to have progressed smoothly one after another on specific dates --- both in the urban and rural areas.  This is because the country at the moment has a large stock of overseas vaccines. Against the backdrop of the prospects for availability of more shots, the health services authorities have assured people of their all-out efforts to resolve the problem soon.

Like in many other countries, Bangladesh's anti-corona campaign had begun with a mass vaccination campaign. It began with online registration on January 26. Until recently, more than 54.79 million people have registered online to get the vaccine. According to DGHS, a total of 38.83 million have received their first dose. It means nearly 16 million people are still left out; or are eagerly awaiting their Surokkha SMS inviting to get inoculated on specific dates. Compared to the world Covid-19 pandemic scene and the performance of the vaccination campaigns in different countries, Bangladesh can lay its due claim to a place it deserves. A developing country with many unconvinced of the merit of vaccines, it did not find itself at the bottom rung. Credit for this goes to the countries, especially India, US and China, who volunteered to stand by the country by donating and exporting the vaccines.   

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