The imported lot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is however scheduled to arrive between Jan 21-25
Bangladesh will receive a total of 2 million additional vaccines as a gift from the Indian government.
The Health Services Division under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a letter signed by the Senior Assistant Secretary (Public Health 2) in this regard to DGDA to take necessary steps to administer the vaccine in Bangladesh on Monday.
As per the letter, the Indian High Commission has already submitted an application in this regard to the ministry.
A special flight from India carrying the vaccines would land at Shahjalal International Airport on January 20, it read.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, manufactured by Serum Institute of India, are set to arrive on January 20, said Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general (DG) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) also on Monday.
The vaccines will be received and stored at DGHS’ facilities, such as EPI (Expanded Program on Immunization).
Additional storage will also be provided for by Unicef, according to Health Minister Zahid Maleque.
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Dr Khurshid Alam said: “It is very small in volume compared to the volume we are bringing in for the vaccination program. It will not be a problem for us to store it.”
When asked whether it will bring any changes to Bangladesh’s vaccination schedule, he said that they will wait for further instructions and information from the Health Ministry.
He also mentioned that the training programs for the country’s vaccinator teams are well underway and is scheduled to conclude by January 27.
If the schedule is not followed, it will not be possible to conduct a nationwide vaccination program, he added.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque had stated that the imported lot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, however, is scheduled to arrive between January 21 to January 25.
Bangladesh has purchased 5 million doses. He also added the vaccines will be administered in hospitals in order to treat any side effects from the vaccine.
The government will bear the expense for any treatment of side effects in a patient.
At least 42,000 health workers are being trained for the nationwide vaccination program. People will be vaccinated across 300 centres in Dhaka, he added.