A nationwide vaccination programme will get underway on 8 February this year following a pilot vaccination campaign that will commence on the 27th of this month.
Vaccination will begin on 27 January and a nurse will receive the first dose. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually inaugurate the vaccination programme.
The following day, 400-500 people will be vaccinated in five Dhaka hospitals on a pilot basis. The hospital directors said they had already taken preparations.
On 28 January, vaccination will be conducted at Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Mugda General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.
Brig Gen Dr Zulfiquer Ahmed Amin, director (hospital) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told The Business Standard the hospital authorities are prepared for vaccination and people will get their jabs at the Medical Convention Centre located at Minto Road.
"On 28 January, 100-150 people will be vaccinated there. We are drawing up a list of those who will be vaccinated first. Those who wish to be vaccinated willingly will receive the jab first. On the first day, we are planning to vaccinate a few people of different groups, including hospital staff, doctors, nurses and professors," he explained.
He said trained nurses of the hospital would vaccinate people and those receiving jabs would then be monitored for 30 minutes by specialist doctors.
Eight emergency beds have been arranged in this regard, and medical teams comprising specialist doctors as well as intensive care unit (ICU) specialists will be there, said Dr Amin.
"There will be an ambulance outside the vaccination centre. We will keep four ICU beds ready so that anyone experiencing intense side effects can be taken there."
Other hospitals are taking similar preparations.
Brig Gen Nazmul Huque, director of Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said a vaccination site has been set up in the emergency department's underground.
"At the moment, health workers of the hospital will be vaccinated in four booths there. Each booth will have two nurses and volunteers. Those who are vaccinated will be kept under observation for half an hour."
Mugda General Hospital Deputy Director Dr Hashem Sheikh said vaccine would be offered in eight booths at the hospital.
Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital Director Dr Sarwar Alam said the hospital staff would be jabbed on the first day. "We are now working to determine how many people will be vaccinated and how many booths will be set up," he added.
On 21 January, the Indian government gifted Bangladesh 20 lakh vaccine doses. The Bangladesh government is going to start vaccination with them.
Another 50 lakh doses are expected to arrive on January 25 from the Serum Institute of India through Beximco Pharmaceuticals.
How to register for vaccine
To receive the jab, people have to register online. To register, they must first download the "Surokkha" app from the Play Store. Then they have to register for the vaccine with their phone and NID numbers in the app.
While registering for using the app, they will also have to provide detailed information, notably their names, dates of birth, information on whether they have any other physical complications, occupations, etc.
Each person will receive two doses of the coronavirus vaccine. Details of the first and second doses can be found through the app.
According to sources at the Management Information System (MIS) branch of the health directorate, vaccine recipients will be able to enter the name of the vaccination centre of their choice at the time of registering in the app. Later, the MIS will send an SMS to the recipients' mobile numbers mentioning at which centre, on what date they will get the vaccine.
An immunisation card will be created in the name of a person at the time of registration. Then the recipients have to print out that card. To get the first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccine, they have to come to the vaccination centre on the scheduled date with that card.
At the centre, they have to sign consent forms, stating that they are receiving the jab voluntarily and that the government will not be responsible if "any illness, injury or damage occurs during or after receiving this vaccination."
This consent form will be preserved by the health directorate.
After the vaccination, a person will be under observation for 30 minutes at the centre.
The Covid-19 vaccination card will have the dates of the two doses of the vaccine and needs to be preserved for future use.
The ICT ministry is scheduled to hand over the "Surokkha" app to the health directorate tomorrow (Monday). Registration through using the app may start from the following day, according to a briefing at the health directorate.
In the first stage, people from 15 communities will be able to register to receive the vaccine. They include government and private health workers, freedom fighters, members of law enforcement agencies and defence forces, personnel of essential and emergency services, elected representatives, media workers, city corporation and municipal workers, religious representatives, persons working in shipping, rail and at airports, government employees of all levels and bank employees.
People who do not have smartphones can also register for vaccination at information centres in union parishads.