The government on Tuesday started its countrywide special vaccination drive with the aim to inoculate some 75 lakh people with Covid-19 boosters and second jabs.
As per official data, some 16,181 vaccination booths with around 33,246 vaccination workers and 49,869 volunteers have been assigned to facilitate the initiative.
The vaccination campaign, being commenced in government medical college hospitals, specialised hospitals, district general hospitals, and upazila health complexes across the country, started at 9am and will continue till 4pm today (19 July).
Since morning, booster jabs are being administered all across the country including 41 centres located in the two Dhaka city corporations.
However, compared to previous campaigns, the number of vaccine aspirants this time is quite low.
"If the target to innoculate 75 lakh people is not achieved today, the campaign will be extended to Wednesday and Thursday," said Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General (DG) Professor Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam.
He was speaking with the media after visiting campaign activities at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) at 11am.
"People, due to the low number of Covid-19 cases and deaths lately, have lost interest in taking the booster dose. So far 17% of the population has been given boosters.
This campaign aims to innoculate more people with the second and third vaccine shots to combat any future Covid wave. Besides, children aged 5-12 will be vaccinated from August," the DGHS DG added.
Earlier, Health Minister Zahid Maleque, while speaking with the press, said, "So far, a total of 76.05% people have received the first dose while 70.3% second dose and 17.9% people received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine in the country."
We currently have a stock of around 2.78 crore doses of different vaccines against the deadly virus, he added.
About bringing five to 11 years old children under the vaccination programme, Maleque said the vaccination programme will start soon.
Earlier in June, there was another weeklong booster dose vaccination campaign.
A total of 12.95 crore people have been administered the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine till Monday while 11.98 crore received the second dose. As many as 3.44 crore people received the booster dose till 18 July, according to DGHS.
Bangladesh reported seven deaths and 1,072 cases in a 24 hours period till 8am on Monday.
The positivity rate was recorded at 9.77% during the same period after testing 10,974 samples across the country.
So far 29,241 people have died and 1,997,412 tested positive for the virus in Bangladesh since 2020.