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Dhaka Tribune

Health Minister: Students below 18 will be vaccinated

They will be offered Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, Zahid Maleque says

Update : 04 Sep 2021, 02:48 PM

With all eyes on its efforts to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Bangladesh is going to vaccinate students below 18 with Pfizer and Moderna jabs.

“Any vaccine dose can be administered to students over 18 but those below 18 can be vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna jabs following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) directives depending on the availability of vaccine doses,” said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Saturday.

The minister revealed the information while talking to reporters after visiting comprehensive examination centres for the Nursing and Midwifery Course atTejgaon Government Girls College on Saturday.

“An inter-ministerial meeting will be held on Sunday. The meeting is expected to decide whether the school students will be vaccinated against Covid-19,” he said.

Also Read - Health Minister: Bangladesh will buy 160 million more Covid jabs from WHO, China

Zahid Maleque also said: “We think that students over 18 can receive any vaccine but in the case of those who are above 12, we have to follow countries like the US and the UK where students are given Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.”

About 80% of teachers and students involved in medical treatment have been brought under vaccination campaigns, the minister added.

Those who are receiving their first jabs will get their second ones from September 7, and people have been asked to go to their respective vaccination centres to take their shots, he said.

Besides, orders have been placed to collect 165,000,000 doses of vaccines. Of these, 65,000,000 will come from China while the rest will come from WHO.

Maleque said: “The doses will likely arrive in the country within next January.”

He added steps are underway to recruit more nurses, and their numbers will be three times higher than physicians working in the health sector.

“Alongside physicians, nurses are performing their duties with sincerity and we’re trying to recruit more nurses to solve the manpower crisis,” he said. 

Bangladesh ready to reopen schools

Education Minister Dipu Moni on Friday said primary, secondary and higher secondary educational institutions in the country will reopen on September 12 following a prolonged closure.

Also Read - Schools, colleges likely to reopen on September 12

“The decision was taken at a joint meeting of the Education Ministry, the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, and the National Technical Advisory Committee held on Thursday night,” she said at a function in Chandpur Sadar upazila.

“Hopefully, we will be able to reopen all the schools, colleges, including madrasas, on September 12 according to the decision,” Dipu Moni added.

Covid-19 situation in Bangladesh

Maintaining the downtrend in the pandemic situation, Bangladesh reported 70 Covid-19-related deaths and 3,167 new cases in the 24 hours till Friday morning. However, the positivity rate rose a bit to 10.76% from Thursday’s 10.40% during the period.

Bangladesh logged 88 Covid-19 deaths and 3,436 cases on Thursday.

The fresh numbers pushed the country’s total fatalities to 26,432, while the cases reached 1,510,283, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).

The country last saw 112 Covid-19-related deaths on June 29 and the upswing in the fatalities reached its peak on August 5 and 10, when 264 deaths were recorded.

The new cases were detected after testing 29,438 samples in 24 hours, the DGHS said.

However, the situation was much more catastrophic from June to the better part of August as the country experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths during that time.

Between May and June this year, there was a 273% rise in monthly cases and 162% in fatalities. 

In July, there was a 150% increase in cases and a 170% rise in deaths compared to the previous month, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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