The second phase of the mass Covid-19 vaccination programme across the country started today with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
Sinopharm jabs are being given at one designated centre in each district of the country.
Meanwhile, four medical colleges in the capital are conducting the inoculation drive. They are Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Sir Salimullah Medical College Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital and Mugda Medical College Hospital.
Today, only medical and dental college students are being vaccinated on a priority basis at the centres in Dhaka.
"Covid-19 vaccination has started at 9am today," Dr Asim Kumar Nath, director of Mugda Medical College Hospital, told The Business Standard adding that the daily target of the hospital is to vaccinate 400 people.
He said, "Sixty final year students of Mugda Medical College will be vaccinated on the first day, however, from tomorrow students of private medical colleges will also be vaccinated at our centre."
"Even though the general people may get the shots from various centers at the district level, we do not have any such instructions yet. Therefore, only medical, dental college students and technologists will be vaccinated until the government provides further directives regarding others," he added.
According to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), people under ten categories will be given priority during the second phase. These people include - Chinese citizens living in Bangladesh, government health workers, members of law enforcement agencies, medical, dental and nursing college students, people who have already registered, and Bangladeshi migrant workers who have been approved by the Manpower Development Bureau to go abroad .
Apart from them, officials and employees involved with selected government projects, the cleaners of two city corporations of Dhaka Metropolitan, and people involved in the funeral of Covid-19 victims will get the Sinopharm vaccine.
On the other hand, the decision on the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines, obtained through the global COVAX programme, is yet to be made.
Reportedly, only 3 percent of people can be vaccinated after administering the jabs in hand, although it is advised that at least 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.
Bangladesh's vaccination programme was disrupted by India's decision in March to halt the export of vaccines made by Serum Institute of India (SII), which is manufacturing the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, in order to prioritize domestic demand amid a sharp rise in cases.
Before that, Bangladesh managed to get more than 10 million vaccine doses from neighboring India, some as a gift, and the rest as part of a commercial deal with the Serum Institute of India (SII).