Bangladesh is going to start vaccinating schoolchildren against Covid-19 on a trial basis on Thursday.
Initially, 100 students of two government high schools in Manikganj, aged 12-17 years, will be vaccinated with Pfizer-Biontech doses, ABM Khurshid Alam, director-general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said at an online briefing on Wednesday.
The trial vaccination will be held at Manikganj Colonel Maleque Medical College Hospital before vaccinating school students on a larger scale, he added.
"We have chosen Manikganj, the electoral area of the health minister, for vaccinating children due to some technical reasons," Khurshid Alam said.
"We will observe the vaccinated children for the next 10-14 days – whether they show signs of any side effects – and then, the vaccination campaign for students will begin in Dhaka on a larger scale," he added.
Dr Lutfor Rahman, the acting civil surgeon of Manikganj, told The Business Standard that for the vaccine trials, they have already collected birth registration information of 100 school students selected for Thursday's trial vaccination.
Earlier, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the World Health Organisation and Gavi, a public-private global health partnership, have consented to the initiative.
At present, the government has 60 lakh Pfizer doses in stock, all of which will be used to fully inoculate 30 lakh students, according to the minister.
17 more die, 518 new cases in 24 hrs
The country reported 17 more deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours till 8 am Wednesday.
Besides, 518 more tested positive for the virus during the same period.
Meanwhile, the health officials recorded a 2.34% positivity rate after testing 22,153 samples across the country.
With the latest additions, the death toll reached 27,730 and the case tally climbed to 15.64 lakh in the country.