Health officials are considering enlisting the assistance of the ICT Division to ensure that technologically illiterate people can register for the Covid-19 vaccine. Bangladesh has obtained priority contracts from the Serum Institute of India (SII) for 30 million doses through Beximco Pharmaceuticals, Bangladesh; has already received 5 million doses as per the procurement agreement, and will receive 2 million doses on February 23, 2021.
Despite a study from The Economist predicting that most low-income countries will not be able to implement vaccines before 2023, Bangladesh appears to be on track to immunize target groups by the third quarter of this year and the rest of the population by mid-2022.
“We believe that our workers at the ICT Division’s Upazila offices will be able to assist people who are unable to complete their registration. Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. ABM Khurshid Alam said, “The idea is for people to go to the offices to register at the designated time, and then they will be sent a message telling them when to go for vaccination.”
If the proposal is completed, the details of the new approach to vaccine registration will be broadcast over loudspeakers, according to the DG. After the first round of vaccinations at the district and Upazila levels, he said, the vaccine program will be extended to the Union Parishad stage.
In the first month of the vaccination campaign, 6 million people will receive their first doses of the vaccine. In the second month, another 5 million people will receive their first doses, and the first batch of vaccine patients will receive their second doses in the third month.
Surokkha, the Covid-19 vaccine registration app, was promised to be available on Google Play by February 4th. “Surokkha, an app designed to assist people in registering for the Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh, will be available on Google Play by February 4”, said DGHS DG Khurshid Alam.
Since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the vaccine registration website www.surokkha.gov.bd on January 27, it has been open to the public. Officials involved say they’ve even created an iOS version of the app, but they’re waiting for feedback on the Google Play version before uploading it to the Apple App Store.
Bangladesh has been ahead of other European Union nations, which have yet to obtain their mutual vaccine consignment, since the beginning of the inoculation drive on February 7.
Bangladesh is also ahead of several global powerhouses, such as South Korea and Australia, which prefer to wait and observe the side effects of the latest vaccines, and Japan, which was mired in bureaucracy and mistrust of international pharmaceuticals until recently.
In the first month, approximately one million people in Dhaka, Naraynaganj, and Gazipur have received the Covid-19 vaccine. The vaccine doses for the three districts will be entirely funded by India’s gift of 2 million vaccine doses in the first month.
No other district will obtain such a large allocation, according to DGHS Line Director (MNC and AH) Dr. Shamsul Haque, who is also the member secretary of the DGHS Covid-19 management committee. “We are allocating vaccine doses based on population and number of infections in the districts,” he said, adding that the details of the district-by-district distribution were still being worked out as of.
On January 25, the Serum Institute of India (SII) sent the first batch of 5 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh was given 2 million doses of the vaccine by the Indian government on January 21. Preparations for the national vaccination program are nearing completion, according to the DGHS DG. He also mentioned that the required training for vaccination teams was completed.
Within two or three days, all-district units will receive coolers for transporting the vaccine and necessary syringes. The DG said, “We will soon have a meeting with all the district unit heads, civil surgeons, Upazila heads, and Upazila healthcare officers to get their input on any issues that need to be discussed.”
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