Bangladesh is set to kick off its coronavirus vaccination campaign by inoculating a nurse.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will virtually inaugurate the campaign on Jan 27, Health Secretary Abdul Mannan said on Saturday.
The following day, five hospitals in Dhaka will begin the inoculation process while the nationwide vaccination programme will kick off on Feb 8, according to the secretary.
Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Kurmitola General Hospital, Mugda General Hospital, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University will administer the initial vaccine shots in the capital on Jan 28, .
"Around 400-500 people will get the vaccine shots first. They will be kept under observation for a week before the countrywide vaccination campaign begins on Feb 8,” the secretary said.
“The first dose will be given to a nurse at Kurmitola General Hospital. Apart from that, 24 other individuals will be vaccinated.”
“These individuals will include frontline health workers, freedom fighters, teachers, doctors and journalists.”
The decision to launch the vaccination drive was finalised following the arrival of two million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines produced by Serum Institute of India on Thursday, which were given as a gift by India.
Bangladesh initially planned to begin the vaccination drive towards the start of February, but authorities now want to fast-track inoculations due to the early arrival of the free doses.
Although India began their inoculation programme without reporting any side effects, Bangladesh plans to be on guard and start off by carrying out immunisation of 400-500 people initially.
Bangladesh has already chalked up plans to distribute the vaccines across the country.