The Financial Express

Vaccine-takers’ rush overwhelms health authorities

| Updated: February 23, 2021 17:53:47

Vaccine-takers’ rush overwhelms health authorities

The rush for getting Covid-19 jabs has put the state-run Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in difficulty in issuing vaccine schedules, officials have admitted.

Wait of the people for information relating their vaccination date and venue through SMS (short message service) has only become longer, thus, stirring up frustration among them.

The FE correspondent talked with more than a dozen of people who have got them registered on the Shurakkha app but yet to receive SMS detailing the vaccination centres and date even after seven days (until Monday).

Sadeque Islam, who completed registration on February 13, said he was yet to receive SMS from the authorities concerned although seven days have gone by.

"I am regularly checking my cell-phone. I don't know when I will receive the SMS," he said in a note of frustration.

The situation was almost same in case of most others.

People involved in the countrywide mass inoculation programme said they are regularly receiving a number of people who want to get the jab without any SMS.

"But we can't allow anyone without the SMS, which is mandatory. It sometimes puts us in an odd situation," said a healthcare professional in BSMMU vaccination centre.

Seeking anonymity, a DGHS official said the mass inoculation campaign is going on in 2,400 vaccination centres across the country, and each centre can officially administer 150 shots every day.

"But the reality is different. A centre can deal with a maximum of 100 people. So, the number of people seeking to get jabs is gradually on the rise under the existing arrangement," he noted.

According to the DGHS sources, there are 2,400 vaccination centres in 1,005 hospitals across the country. The overall capacity of administering antidote is 240,000, taking into consideration each centre's vaccination capacity of 100 people per day.

On the other hand, some 0.2 million people are daily completing online registration to take the Covishield vaccine. As of February 22, more than 3.5 million people have registered themselves for vaccination, while only 2.3 million have already been vaccinated.

When contacted, DGHS Director (MIS) Dr Mizanur Rahman said the number of people interested in taking jabs growing at a pace much faster than the government's capacity.

"We cannot allow very long queues in front of the centres. We need to maintain discipline in the inoculation programme. That's why it takes time to send SMS. So, people need to be patient. We will send SMS to every registered person," he added.

However, a total of 2,25,280 people were vaccinated across the country on Monday with only 31 recipients reporting AEFI (adverse events following immunisation).

With the latest figures, the entire tally of the first round of inoculated population reached 23,08,157. Of them, 1,39,780 were male and 85,500 were female.

The vaccination data also showed that the highest 69,938 people took the vaccine in Dhaka division. The overall AEFI numbers stood at 609 till date, according to DGHS.

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