To receive the jab, people have to get registered on www.surokkha.gov.bd
The registration process for receiving Covid jabs will start in the country on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the registration process at 3:30pm on Wednesday. Then the service will be made available for the public.
A consignment of 50 lakh shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Dhaka on Monday from the Serum Institute of India. Earlier Bangladesh received 20 lakh doses of the vaccine as a gift from India.
Those who are interested in getting inoculated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine imported from India can get registered at www.surokkha.gov.bd.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT, at a press conference at the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Monday afternoon, made it clear that no one will be vaccinated without registration.
The individuals will need national identity (NID) card, birth registration number, date of birth and mobile number for completing the registration process.
Once the government starts the vaccination drive, the registered ones can receive the vaccine at the nearest vaccination centre from his current address on the scheduled date.
However, those who do not have Internet or cannot register on their own can avail the service at the corresponding Union Digital Centres (UDC).
A mobile number or NID number can be used for a single person once.
After the inauguration of the vaccination programme by the prime minister, 500 workers from five hospitals in Dhaka will be vaccinated.
Vaccination will be extended across the country from 8 February. Sixty lakh people will be vaccinated every month in 7,344 centres across the country.
The state minister also said that the ICT division has developed an Android app for the registration. Besides, work is underway to develop a separate app for apple devices. These apps will also be made public when the government will find it necessary.
Initially, people under 21 categories specified by the government will be able to register for vaccination.
Noting that the "Surokkha" web app is very user friendly, Palak said, "We have tested the app with less educated drivers, helpers and chefs. They have been able to complete the registration process easily using the app.
"Those who do not have a smartphone can register at 6,626 digital centres across the country. The local government ministry has already written to the data centres in this regard."
The state minister said preparations have been made to build a database of registrants and not to disrupt the registration process due to extra pressure.
"The ability to withstand the pressure of 4.5 crore people has been created. However, it is not possible to verify more than 500 NID numbers or birth dates in a second from the data center of the Election Commission.
"However, we are prepared to protect registrants' information from hackers."
Meanwhile, 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.
Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the health directorate, said the registrants would have to take the vaccine from the designated centres. However, if one cannot take the first dose on the scheduled day, one can take it any day later.
"And, after the first dose, the date for the second dose will be 4 weeks later. If one cannot take the dose on that day, one has to take it within the following four weeks."
He said at present only hospitals are planned to be used as vaccination centres. However, EPI workers may be used in the future, if vaccination starts at a larger scale at the union level.
Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the prime minister, said Bangladesh has been able to buy the vaccine at the lowest price outside India. "We've also received a gift of 20 lakh doses. We have 70 lakh doses of the vaccine, while the number of Covid-19 infected people in the country is 5.30 lakh."
Mirzadi Sabrina Flora, additional director general of the health directorate, said people aged over 60 years who are suffering from other diseases will be prioritised for vaccination.
A Covid-19 infected person will not be vaccinated until four weeks have passed since the infection, she added. "Pregnant women and anyone under the age of 18 will not be vaccinated for now".
NM Ziaul Alam, Senior Secretary to the ICT Division; Tofazzal Hossain Mia, secretary to the Prime Minister's Office, and Abdul Mannan, secretary to the Health Services Division, were also present at the press conference.
50 lakh doses of vaccine come from India
A special flight of Air India arrived at the Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 11:15am on Monday with a consignment of the vaccine.
The vaccine came to the country through Beximco Pharmaceuticals, a distributor of the Serum Institute. After the vaccine arrived in the country, it was taken to Beximco Warehouse in Tongi in nine freezer vans.
Nazmul Hasan, managing director of Beximco Pharma, told reporters at the airport that the Seram Institute had promised them that 50 lakh doses of the vaccine would arrive between January 21 and January 25. "We've received the 50 lakh shots of the vaccine today as per that promise."
He said samples from each batch of the vaccines would be sent from the warehouse to the government's drug testing laboratory. "If everything goes well after the test, Beximco will deliver it to 64 districts after getting the clearance."
Nazmul Hasan further said the government would be able to deliver the vaccine to the designated places within four to five days. "Health department officials would look at the vaccine cartons first. Then each carton will be opened. There the temperature will be checked on the temperature monitoring device. Beximco will take responsibility for any damage before the vaccine is delivered."
The vaccine should be kept at 2-8 degrees Celsius all the time, said the Beximco Pharma MD, adding, "That's why the device has been kept in the cartons."
"We have to show that there is no break in the cold chain anywhere from Pune to Mumbai, from there to Dhaka to our warehouse, and from there to the district level. If there is any damage, shortness or any kind of problem, then we will change it. Beximco has all the responsibility for the vaccine."
Beximco officials as well as officials from the health directorate and the drug administration directorate also were present at the airport to receive the vaccine.
On 5 November last year, the health ministry signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding with the Serum Institute and Beximco to import the vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca.
About three crore doses have been secured, which Serum would deliver over a period of six months – 50 lakh a month. The doses will be given to 1.5 crore people – 9% of the total population.