Vaccination prog suspended in 44 districts11 June 2021
Reza Mahmud :
Vaccination programme has been postponed in 44 districts of the country due to shortage of supplies, sources said.
Besides, more than half of vaccination centers have stropped inoculating programme for the same reason.
In this situation, more than 14 lakh first dose recipients of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are in the state of uncertainty about f getting the second shots in time.
Public health experts said that the second doses may be administered eight weeks after getting the first shots.
But the stocks have to be ensured, within this time.
Vaccination center in the capitals National Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Hospital suspended the programme at the beginning of the week without announcing it.
As such, people come every day to receive second dose, but return with a bitter experience.
About four thousand first dose jab recipients from the center are now in the zone of uncertainty. Kamrul Ahsan, who took first dose of the jab from this center is passing days with frustration on account of non- availability of the boosting dose.
"The officials of the center are saying nothing is clear about our second dose. It creates ambiguity among thousands of first dose recipients," Kamrul Ahsan said.
These are found in 24 out of 47 inoculation centers in the capital, as those have been suspended. The rest of the centers are continuing inoculations, are administering very poor numbers.
About five thousands jabs have been administered every day, now.
Bangladesh started the vaccination programme on February 7 with its stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine supplied by India's Serum Institute as per a procurement agreement with the government.
But the Indian company failed to supply the jabs as per the agreement though the Bangladesh government paid money in advance.
The country got a total of one crore and two lakh doses of AstraZeneca jabs including Indian government's gift.
About 58,20,000 people have taken the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine while about 42,28,000 got the second dose among those.
Sources said about, 2,50,000 doses of vaccines remain in stock while, about 14 lakh first dose recipients do not know the date about getting the boosting shot.
In these circumstances, the inoculation programme suffers a setback.
The government is now trying to bring more doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs from different sources, including other vaccines like Pfizer, Sputnik v, Sinovac and Sinopharma.
When contacted, Professor Dr. M. Muzaherul Huq, former Advisor of the World Health Organisation told The New Nation, "Dependence on one source only was a grave mistake. The government should have worked for more sources for continuing the inoculation programme."
He also suggested producing vaccine locally through technology transferring.
The professor said, the sooner we can vaccinate our people with second doses we can achieve herd immunity.
The professor said, "To achieve herd immunity, we need to procure 25 crore doses of jabs. The sooner we can complete vaccinating our 12.50 crore population, we are free from Corona."