A total of 36,943 people in Cox’s Bazar camps and 431 at Bhashan Char have received their first dose of Covid vaccine till now
The government is not considering lowering the age limit for Rohingya refugees to receive the Covid vaccine right now due to the non-availability of shots, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) officials said.
“A new decision will be taken when more vaccines are available,” DGHS Director General Dr Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
Bangladesh began administering the Covid vaccine in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar on August 10 as part of its nationwide mass vaccination drive. Later, on August 16, the authorities started a vaccination drive at Bhsahan Char as well.
Rohingyas aged above 55 received China’s Sinopharm vaccine as their first dose. The second dose will be administered next month, said officials.
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While talking to Dhaka Tribune, Md Shamsud Douza, additional refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, said: “In the Cox’s Bazar camps, we have vaccinated 36,943 out of 43,099 Rohingyas aged above 55. Some 6,150 people are yet to take the vaccine. We are working on that.”
When contacted, Cox's Bazar Civil Surgeon Dr Mahbubur Rahman said: “Almost 90% of eligible people have had the Covid vaccine. However, some older Rohingya people are not interested in vaccines due to their superstition.”
As many as 564 Rohingya refugees aged above 55 live at Bhashan Char.
Of them, 431 people received their first dose of the vaccine under Ashrayan project phase 3, Noakhali Civil Surgeon Dr Masum Iftekhar said.
Both civil surgeons said they did not know anything about any new decision regarding the vaccination campaign for Rohingyas.
According to the office of the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC), as many as 2,409 Rohingyas contracted the deadly virus and 28 have died since the first case was detected in the camps in May last year.
Currently, some 1.1 million Rohingyas live in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar and 19,000 at Bhashan Char.