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Dhaka Tribune

DGHS: No decision yet on vaccinating people under 18

Pregnant women and lactating mothers can get jabs without vaccine SMS  

Update : 05 Sep 2021, 05:35 PM

The government is yet to take any decision on inoculating people under 18 against Covid-19, said the Directorate General of Health Services on Sunday.

“So far we know, no decision has been taken yet. But the government is thinking about it. 

“Measures will be taken as per the decision of the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19,” said Member Secretary of the Vaccine Deployment Committee of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Shamsul Haque.

“At present government is providing jabs to the people aged above 25. We tried to lower the age limit to 18 but our plan did not work then. 

“The national Covid-19 committee is yet to provide any directives regarding the matter. Once a decision is made the DGHS would act accordingly,” Dr Shamsul added.

He said that some university students were vaccinated as per the list of the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Those who do not t have NIDs and are yet to get vaccinated may get their jabs showing birth certificates, the DGHS added.

However, on Saturday Health Minister Zahid Maleque said students below 18 can be vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna jabs following the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) directives as per the availability of vaccine doses.

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

“Besides, pregnant and lactating women can get jabs without SMS from nearby vaccination centres at any convenient time after registration.

"We have changed the previous rules for vaccinating pregnant and lactating women and given new instructions,” Dr Shamsul Haq added on Sunday.

Moreover, the DGHS line director said that pregnant and lactating women must take a doctor's advice card before getting vaccinated. 

“They can go to the vaccination centres and get a jab by signing a letter of consent.”

Furthermore, he said the second dose of the countrywide mass vaccination campaign will start from September 7. 

In this case, people have been asked to go to their respective vaccination centres to take their second shots. Everyone must bring their respective vaccine cards.

Efforts are already underway to deliver a sufficient number of vaccines to different districts for the second dose of the vaccination campaign. "We hope that our vaccine will reach all places by today and tomorrow."

"We will also have a regular inoculation program during the second dose vaccination campaign," he said. 

The first and second vaccinations will be done by our health workers at the designated centres, he added.

Reopening educational institutions

From September 12 all primary, secondary, and higher secondary educational institutes will be reopened, said the Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni on Sunday.

The minister said this after the decision was finalized at an inter-ministerial meeting at the cabinet division Sunday.

Earlier, on August 26, the government extended the closure of secondary and higher secondary level educational institutions until September 11.

The government shut the educational institutions on March 17, 2020 after the country reported its first Covid-19 cases on March 8, and later the closure was extended several times.

Regarding the opening of universities, the minister said the decision is still pending as the vice-chancellors of public universities want to see all the students are vaccinated – at least the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines.

“We’ll hold another meeting with them. If they want, they can reopen with other educational institutions or fix another date following the decision of the syndicate committees of their universities,” said Dipu Moni.

Even after reopening, she said, the educational institutions will have to send mandatory reports to the ministry on their overall Covid-19 situation.

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