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Dhaka Tribune

Covid-19: 1% population vaccinated in Bangladesh

A total 1,848,313 have been administered with the Covid-19 vaccine since the nationwide campaign began on February 7

Update : 19 Feb 2021, 09:47 PM

A little over 1% of the population of Bangladesh have been administered with Covid-19 vaccine, so far, according to ASM Alamgir, principal scientific officer at the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

Several countries have begun Covid-19 vaccination campaigns but few have been able to vaccinate 1% of such a large population so quickly, he added.

The IEDCR official on Friday disclosed the information while addressing a program in Dhaka on the overall coronavirus situation.

A total 1,848,313 have been administered with the Covid-19 vaccine since the nationwide campaign began on February 7. Vaccination centres were closed on Friday.

About 15 countries, including Bangladesh, have been able to vaccinate 1% of their populations, but most of them have much smaller populations, Alamgir said.

“For instance, Israel has been able to vaccinate more than 1% of their people, but they have a much smaller population. The UK has administered 23% of their population with the vaccine,” he added, mentioning that India was yet to vaccinate 1% of its population despite beginning their vaccination campaign much earlier than Bangladesh.

Alamgir further said Bangladesh was supposed to receive vaccines for 20% of its population through the Covax program, but the volume may be raised by 7%.

Covax is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

"For the last month, the infection rate has been below the 5% mark and this is relieving. But it does not necessarily mean that the infection has reduced significantly," Alamgir said.

The infection rate declined in many countries before rising again later, the IEDCR official warned while stressing the importance of following health guidelines.

“The vaccine is not the only remedy,” he said.

Addressing the same program, prime minister's personal physician Dr ABM Abdullah said the low infection rate was no reason to grow complacent.

"The death toll is still fluctuating," he said. 

The daily Covid-19 test positivity rate in Bangladesh remained below 3% for four consecutive days till Friday.

A total of 406 new infections were reported and eight died from Covid-19 in the 24 hours till Friday morning. 

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