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Dhaka Tribune

501 medical college students get Sinopharm jabs

No severe side effects reported

Update : 25 May 2021, 09:50 PM

Amid uncertainty over arrivals of further shipments of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, the health authorities have started administering China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine to fifth year medical college students.

As many as 501 of them received their first dose of the Chinese vaccine on Tuesday, said the Directorate General of Health Services, adding that the plan was to immunize some 1,000 medical college students with the vaccine at the initial stage.

The 501 students belong to different medical colleges — 171 from Dhaka Medical College, 157 from Sir Salimullah Medical College, 130 from Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and 43 from Mugda Medical College.

Anannya Salam Somota, a student of Dhaka Medical College, expressed her gratitude to the health authorities following her inoculation at around 12:30pm.

She said it was a proud moment for her as she was the first person in the country to receive the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine.

Five hours later, Anannya posted on Facebook that she did not experience any post-shot side effects.

No severe side effects were reported till 7pm.

Also read - China to gift another 600,000 vaccine doses

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said if the government reached an agreement that would allow it to purchase the vaccine and produce it locally, the authorities would start administering it on a large scale from as early as June.

Every fifth year medical college student would get the vaccine eventually, the minister said on Tuesday while inaugurating the vaccination program.

Students of other medical colleges would start to receive the Chinese vaccine gradually after seven days, he said.

The contracts regarding getting vaccines from China and Russia were at their final stage, he said, adding: “We hope that we will receive an adequate amount of vaccines starting from June.”

Talking about the possibility of sourcing Oxford-AstraZeneca shots, he said the government was contacting the United States and the United Kingdom to that end.

Over 1.7 million people have yet to receive their second dose of the Oxford vaccine, with only around 450,000 in stock, according to the DGHS.

Meanwhile, DGHS Director General Prof ABM Khurshid Alam said students of government medical colleges would get vaccinated initially, followed by students of private medical colleges, nursing institutes and medical technology centres.

On May 12, China handed over 500,000 doses of its Sinopharm vaccine to Bangladesh as a gift and is set to send a second batch, comprising 600,000 shots, soon.

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