The government looks to inoculate 80 lakh people against Covid-19 on 28 September on the occasion of the birthday of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
At a virtual press conference organised by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Sunday, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said, "The special vaccination campaign will start at 9am on the day and will continue until the target is achieved."
Approximately 6,000 vaccination centres across the country will administer the vaccines, he said, adding people aged above 25 years will be jabbed during the campaign and all of them will receive the first dose.
The majority of the vaccines will be of Sinopharm. The second dose will be given by holding another campaign next month, the minister added.
He further said, "At present, six lakh doses of vaccine are being administered every day. This also will continue. We are taking vaccines to rural areas. The purpose is to inoculate those who live far away, the poor, the elderly and those who cannot come to receive vaccines for various inconveniences."
"So far, 5.52 crore doses of Covid vaccines have reached the country. Of this, 4 crore doses have been used."
The minister informed the media that the vaccination campaign will be held at 4,000 union parishads, 1,054 municipalities and 443 city corporation wards.
"As part of the programme, 3 booths have been set up in each union, 1 booth in the municipality and 3 booths in the city corporation wards."
The health minister requested special cooperation from the political leaders, dignitaries and media personnel to make the vaccination programme a success.
Some 32,706 health workers would take part in the vaccination programme. Besides, more than 48,459 volunteers will help in the vaccination programme.
The minister said, "We will get 7 crore doses of vaccine from China and 10.5 crore doses from the World Health Organisation, while another 6.8 crore doses will come under the Covax initiative. More people will be vaccinated next November and December. Everything depends on the availability of vaccines."
Earlier, the first dose of Covid vaccine was administered on 7-12 August by conducting the first vaccination campaign. At that time, 50.73 lakh people were vaccinated in 6 days. They were given a second dose during a campaign in September.
Registrants to be prioritised
During the special campaign beginning Tuesday, priority would be given to those who registered for vaccination before but did not get vaccinated, said the health minister adding everyone aged above 25 will be vaccinated.
In the first two hours of the campaign, priority will be given to women over 40 years of age and people from remote areas. People who have not registered will also be allowed to receive the jab if they bring their national identity cards.
Pregnant women and lactating mothers will not be vaccinated in the campaign.
At the briefing, Professor Meerjady Sabrina Flora, additional director general of the DGHS, said, "We have arranged our programme to vaccinate 80 lakh people in 6,000 centres across the country by inviting thru SMS those who have already registered and are waiting to get vaccinated."
At present, 1.90 crore people are awaiting vaccination after completing registration.
25 lakh more Pfizer doses to arrive Monday
A consignment of 25 lakh doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is scheduled to arrive in the country on Monday. The vaccines will come under Covax, a platform to ensure coronavirus vaccination in all countries on a fair basis.
A National Air cargo flight from Florida carrying the doses will land at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 10.15pm, said a Health Ministry press release.
US Ambassador to Bangladesh Earl R Miller and DGHS Director General Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam will be present at the airport to receive the vaccines among other senior officials of the health sector.
Earlier on 23 August, Health Minister Zahid Maleque confirmed at an informal media briefing that another 60 lakh doses of Pfizer vaccine would be arriving from the United States in September. As part of those 60 lakh vaccines, the country received over 1 lakh Pfizer vaccines on 31 May and a little over 10 lakh on 1 September.