Vaccination drive against Covid-19 to begin Wednesday

Proceed with caution, say experts

24 January 2021

Staff Reporter :
Bangladesh will begin its Covid-19 vaccination campaign on Wednesday after it getting Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines produced by Serum Institute of India.
The vaccination campaign will start through vaccinating a nurse of Kurmitola Hospital in the capital.
It was disclosed by Health Secretary Abdul Mannan while visiting Kidney Institute and Hospital in Dhaka on Saturday.
The following day, five hospitals in Dhaka will begin the inoculation process while the nationwide vaccination programme will be launched on February 8, said the Health Secretary.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Mugda General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University will administer the initial vaccine shots in the capital on January 28.
"Around 400-500 people will get the vaccine shots first. They will be kept under observation for a week before the countrywide vaccination campaign begins on February 8," he said.
"The first dose will be given to a nurse at Kurmitola General Hospital. Apart from that, 20 to 25 other individuals will be vaccinated."
"These individuals will include frontline health workers, freedom fighters, teachers, doctors and journalists."
Bangladesh has already chalked up plans to distribute the vaccines across the country.
UNB adds:  With the government getting ready to launch the Covid-19 vaccine program in the near future, health experts say it should follow a go-slow policy and continue with caution as it is a challenging task to vaccinate millions of people.
Since the nation did not join any Coovid-19 vaccine phase-three trial, they warned that if the campaign started in a hurry with any negative note due to lack of science planning,          
large-scale vaccination against the deadly virus, it would face a significant setback.
Talking to UNB, public health expert MH Chowdhury (Lenin), chairman of the medicine department at the Health and Hope Hospital, said it is a very challenging and tough job to safely distribute the vaccine doses among people.
"The first challenge is to prepare people mentally to receive the vaccine. We've seen in newspapers that 23 elderly people died in Norway after vaccination while two vaccine recipients died and several hundred others fell sick in India. These media reports are spreading some sort of panic among people. So, we must have a mechanism to create a positive attitude among people about the vaccine," he added.
He also said that the UK, India and some other countries could not reach their vaccination target for many reasons.
"So, we'll have to carry out a dry run or short-term trial of the vaccine in a planned way to identify the challenges and problems the government may face during the mass vaccination. It'll also help us remove the barriers and achieve perfection."

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