Only the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was given in the first round. But now the available vaccines are of Pfizer, Sinopharm and others. The shipment of 3.5 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to arrive early August. Efforts are being made to procure the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine as well.
The health minister said about 20 million doses of the vaccine would be available by August. But there is still uncertainty about which vaccine will be provided and when. In particular, the 1.5 million people who took the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are in uncertainty. Two months have already passed since the first dose was given to many. According to experts, the second dose should be given in 8 to 12 weeks.
The minimum age for vaccination has been lowered to 35 from 40 years. Apart from this, health workers, students and media workers irrespective of age will get priority in getting vaccinated. Many public health experts say two doses of the vaccine should be from the same company. In that case, those who already received the first dose, should be given the second dose quickly. But that is not possible until the AstraZeneca vaccine is available.
There is no alternative to sound management to make any programme successful. The government was fairly successful in vaccinating in the first phase. But this time there are allegations of various irregularities in vaccinations at different places. Although the second phase of vaccination programme was supposed to start in 12 big cities from yesterday, nothing was seen in Barishal City Corporation area.
Many people from different parts of the country, including Dhaka, have reported problems in getting vaccinated. They said, when they went to the specific centre at the specified time, they were informed that the vaccine had not arrived yet. Why this disorder? If there was any problem, the responsible persons could have informed the people in advance through SMS. This harassment of should be stopped in the midst of high corona infection across the country.
Following the government's plan, 80 per cent of the people must be vaccinated as soon as possible.