Sixteen children, between 5 to 11 years of age, were given Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine doses on a trial basis on Thursday.
The children, students of Abul Bashar Government Primary School, were inoculated at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC).
Bangladesh reported one death and 214 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours till 8am Thursday. The positivity rate was recorded at 4.45% in the same time frame, testing 4,806 samples.
Nidhi Nandini, a class-III student of the school, was the first to receive the Covid paediatric vaccine on this trial run.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurating the vaccination programme, said, "After today's trial vaccination, the nationwide inoculation campaign for children between 5-11 years of age will start on 25 August. First, the vaccine will be given to students of city corporation schools, then across the whole country."
He urged parents to register for the vaccine.
"In this campaign, 2.2 crore children will be vaccinated and 4.4 core vaccine doses are required. Bangladesh has so far received 3 million vaccine doses and Covax has committed to providing us with vaccines," the minister added.
"The World Health Organisation has already approved the Pfizer paediatric formulation vaccine for use in children 5-11 years old as a safe and effective vaccine. The National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group (Nitag) has also expressed a positive opinion in providing this vaccine to children in the country. Children will be safer if they are inoculated with this vaccine," he went on to say.
"We are vaccinating children of this age group so they can safely continue their education. We are trying to overcome the shortfall in classroom teaching due to disruption during the Covid pandemic," Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said at the programme.
"Some children were given the Pfizer Covid-19 paediatric vaccine on Thursday. Their second dose will be given eight weeks later," said Dr Shamsul Haque, member secretary of the Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Committee of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
Meanwhile, some 497 Covid patients recovered from Covid in the last 24 hours, taking the recovery rate to 97.10%.
Bangladesh has reported 29,310 deaths and 2008,282 cases so far since 2020.
According to government data, the country has 2.20 crore children between 5-11 years of age.
So far, more than five lakh school children, 5-11 years old, have registered for Covid-19 vaccination.
Earlier in November last year, the government provided the Pfizer vaccine to school students 12-17 years old.
So far 1.73 crore students have received their first dose and 1.60 crore students got two doses of the vaccine.