Registration for vaccines stops06 May 2021
Reza Mahmud :
Vaccination of 2nd dose has become uncertain for about 17 lakh 1st dose recipients of AstraZeneca vaccine, for which human health experts blamed the government's late consciousness.
Besides, the government suspended the peoples' registration seeking inoculations due to uncertainty of availability of the jabs.
"You know that the vaccine consignment had not reached us as per the agreement. In this circumstance, we have suspended the vaccine registration now. We want to complete inoculation of those who have already registered," Professor Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora told journalists on Wednesday.
She said the registration will resume after getting vaccines in hand.
Human health experts said if the government searched new sources for the jab in time, the current uncertainty would not have occurred. "India's Serum Institute had to deliver 50 lakh doses of AstraZeneca covid vaccine every month, but it had maintained the agreement only first consignment in January. Then it failed to keep promises since February when it sent only 20 lakh doses instead of 50 lakh shots in February. The government should have been careful about the matter right then," Professor Dr. Mohammad Shahidullah, Chairman of the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 told The New Nation on Wednesday.
"The government thought that the Indian company might send the rest vaccine quickly. If the government took instant action to find other sources like USA, UK and Australia the uncertainty might have not occurred," the Professor said.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Wednesday said the stock of the Covid-19 vaccine is running out in Bangladesh as there are only 14 lakh jabs in government hands with no sign in sight to get another shipment of the jab from Serum institute.
Speaking in a virtual press briefing, DGHS spokesperson Dr Robed Amin said, "We got a total of one crore and two lakh jabs from Serum. Of them about 88 lakh jabs have already been administered as the first and second shots. Now we have some 14 lakh doses in stock."
He said, "We might fall into a vaccine crisis if a fresh consignment does not arrive in the country before the existing stock is exhausted." Professor Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, DG of the DGHS told The New Nation, "There may be shortfall of about 17 lakh doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines for administering the second dose as the remaining stock is running out." He said, the government has been trying with all out efforts to bring the vaccines from the other sources like USA, UK and other countries.
"We are requesting Bangladeshi expatriates living in those countries and connecting with the respective governments to join the effort," the Health DG said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday said the government has intensified its efforts for Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the US as it will share up to 60 million doses with other countries.
"We are expecting the vaccine much," Dr Momen told reporters at his residence.
When contacted, Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Advisor of the World Health Organisation told The New Nation on Wednesday, "Countries like USA and other have stocks of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Government should explore the possibilities and start negotiations to get from them who have the stocks but not using. European countries also have the stocks of the same. Negotiations should start with them too without further delaying."
DGHS said that amid the vaccine crisis, the government suspended administering the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on April 26 which was started on February 8.
On the other hand, the vaccination of second dose has started on April8.