Frontliners – police and army personnel, doctors and nurses, bankers and government officials – are not showing enough interest in registering for the Covid-19 vaccination, which has slowed down the registration process.
The Department of Health has said they registered only 48,000 people till 5pm on Tuesday.
Officials said on average even 7,000 people a day are not registering for the coronavirus vaccine.
Experts say administering the 50 lakh doses of the first batch of the vaccines should be completed by April, or else the effectiveness of the vaccine may reduce.
The country is going to start nationwide vaccination from 7 February with a plan to vaccinate two lakh people a day.
They suggested running a massive publicity campaign to motivate people to get vaccinated.
Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told The Business Standard that vaccine registration is sluggish because employees of the offices concerned across the country have not registered yet.
Police, army, doctors, nurses, bankers and government officials who are supposed to be vaccinated in the first phase have not registered yet, he said.
"We asked all deputy commissioners and superintendents of police to boost the registration process at a meeting day before yesterday," said Professor Alam.
It is expected that within the next two to three days, the registrations will be completed, he added.
To get the coronavirus vaccine, one needs to visit www.surokkha.gov.bd and register for the jab.
In the first month, the government plans to vaccinate 60 lakh people, including about 27 lakh frontliners and people above 77 years of age under 15 professions.
The director general of the health department said registration is an ongoing process, and a mass vaccination will start on 7 February while registration and vaccination will continue simultaneously.
Assistant Inspector General of Police Sohail Rana told The Business Standard that the registration process for the vaccine is underway.
He said those who have been given the responsibility for registration are working.
According to the health experts, there has not been enough publicity to get 10 to 11 crore people motivated to get the coronavirus vaccines.
None from the general public to the frontliners appears to be interested in reaping the benefits of vaccination, they said.
Professor Md Sayedur Rahman, chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told TBS that there had been no organised campaign so far to get people interested in vaccination.
There are no billboards or advertisements in the city, nor any publicity for the benefits of the vaccine or what the government will do if there are any side effects, he observed.
When the vaccine arrived in the country, the country was supposed to wear a festive mood and the government needed to inform people of the advantages and disadvantages of the vaccines, said Professor Sayedur.
He added that even vaccine registration was not properly explained, and for these reasons, people are apprehensive of the vaccines and remaining out of vaccination.
There is still time, and in order to motivate people to get vaccinated, the campaign should be run with the help of media experts, suggested the physician.
"We are among the few lucky ones who have been able to manage the vaccines for the country," he added.
"I myself have taken the vaccine. It has some side effects, but it should be taken because the vaccine will prevent mutilation and death."
The director general of the health department claimed that there are commercials on the television and the print media to encourage people to get the vaccine.
Health Minister Zahid Malek has called upon ministers, lawmakers and local people's representatives to motivate people to get vaccinated.
At a function on Tuesday, he said coronavirus cannot be completely rooted out of the country without the vaccines, which have minor side effects, but they are safe.
"I will ask our senior colleagues who are ministers and lawmakers to get the jab, and at the same time, call upon local peoples' representatives to motivate the common people," said the minister.
He added that those in remote areas should come to the districts and upazilas to get vaccinated. People can also register to get the jab when they come to the centre.
"Get vaccinated. Keep the country safe," said the minister.
The Department of Health plans to vaccinate 100 to 150 people daily in one centre. Vaccines will be given from a total of 6,995 centres across the country. There are 354 centres listed in Dhaka city, said sources.