The Financial Express

Over 16.9m people to get COVID-19 vaccine on priority basis, PM says

| Updated: January 27, 2021 19:09:59

Over 16.9m people to get COVID-19 vaccine on priority basis, PM says

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government has taken measures to vaccinate over 16.9 million people on a priority basis.

The prime minister came up with the statement while delivering an address in the parliament on Wednesday, reports bdnews24.com.

In her address, she shared the government's plans for the mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus in Bangladesh after arrival of around 7 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India.

Bangladesh has received a shipment of 2 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as a gift from India while another consignment of 5 million doses of the vaccine bought from Serum Institute of India also arrived in the country on January 25.

The head of the government told the parliament that a total of 30 million doses of the vaccine will be available in the next six months as per the agreement with the Seram Institute. Apart from this, the government will make arrangements to buy more vaccines if necessary.

Replying to a question from Ahsanul Islam, Hasina said Bangladesh, like 92 other countries, will also vaccinate for 20 per cent of the total population through the World Health Organization-led COVAX initiative, which will provide 68 million vaccine doses for 34 million people.

The priority list for immunisation drive has been determined in line with the guidelines of the World Health Organization and the current situation in the country, she explained. In the first phase of the programme, 8.68 per cent of the country's population (15 million) will be vaccinated.

Based on the primary plan, the health directorate has created a list of distribution reflecting the availability of the vaccines over the months

As many as 452,027 doctors, nurses and other health workers at government facilities will get the vaccine first.

Around 600,000 health workers of the private facilities will also get the vaccine in the first phase.

The priority list also includes 210,000 freedom fighters, 180,457 members of the military and civil defence forces, 25,000 government employees essential in running the state, 25,000 journalists, 89,149 public representatives, 75,000 officials and other employees of city corporations and municipalities, and 37,500 funeral workers will get the vaccine doses in the first month.

The others who will get the vaccine in the first month include 200,000 workers of the utilities, sewerage services, fire service and airports, 75,000 of the ports, 60,000 unskilled expatriate workers, 200,000 government staffers engaged in emergency work at districts and Upazilas, and 10,932 from the national sports teams.

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