Bangladesh lowers Covid-19 vaccine age limit to 18 years

The minimum age limit to be able to register for Covid-19 vaccine has been further lowered to 18 years in a bid to boost the country's vaccination rates.

People aged 18 and above can register for the vaccine through the Surokkha website, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Secretary Dr Shamsu Huq, member of Vaccine Deployment Committee, confirmed the matter on Wednesday. 

The government website dedicated for Covid-19 vaccine registration shows that the new age limit is already in place.

Dr Huq said the age limit was lowered on Tuesday evening, and “so far over 200,000 people have completed registration.”

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The government started the registration on January 26 this year for people aged 55 and above in the country.

Later, the age limit was lowered to 40 years or more in the second phase, to 35 years in the third phase and 30 years in the fourth phase on July 19.

On July 29, the age limit was further cut down to 25 years.

People wait in queue to get the Covid-19 vaccine at Urban Healthcare in Azimpur during the mass inoculation drive on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 Mahmud Hosaain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The nationwide vaccination campaign kicked off with the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on February 7 this year.

But the vaccination drive was stalled in late April after the Serum Institute of India (SII), the manufacturer supplying the shots to Bangladesh, stopped export when a disastrous second wave of the pandemic hit India.

Bangladesh then reached out to several Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers across the world, including China, Russia and the US, to procure vaccine doses.

Also Read- Bangladesh lowers age limit for Covid-19 vaccination to 25 years

Bangladesh also started a test run of inoculating school and college students aged between 12 to 17 years on October 14.

The country has recorded 27,791 deaths from Covid-19 and a total caseload of 1,566,664 since March last year, as of Wednesday morning.

More than 55 million people across Bangladesh registered to get the vaccine until Tuesday afternoon. Of them, nearly 16 million people are still waiting for their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine after completing their registration.

Around 39.16 million people in the country have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Of them, some 19.63 million have taken both doses, as DGHS data aggregated till Tuesday show.

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