At a rate of 500,000 doses per day, the government would still need seven months to reach its target
While the rapid recovery by the government when it came to the procurement of vaccine jabs was commendable, to see the nationwide vaccination campaign trudging along at a snail’s pace is disappointing. The government had ambitious plans of fully vaccinating 80 million people by December, but only 20 million people have received both doses of the vaccine by yesterday, while another 20 million are still waiting for the second dose.
The government made headlines when it announced its mass vaccination campaign at the tail end of the previous lockdown. But multiple problems since then -- unavailability of vaccines, vaccination centres themselves being filled with people, and a haphazard rollout when it came to the implementation of the various steps of the plan -- has meant that the government has been failing to meet its objectives of rolling out a vaccination campaign in the first place. At a rate of 500,000 doses per day, the government would still need seven months to reach its target.
This newspaper has repeatedly editorialized about the need for vaccinations. In fact, while things seem to be on an upturn, scientists around the world are repeatedly warning us about the disastrous effects of Covid mutations. And if we cannot vaccinate the whole world, a variant of Covid just might emerge that nullifies the protective abilities of vaccines, bringing us back to square one.
The government needs to focus on procuring more vaccines, and diversifying its supplies. Alongside removing inefficiencies and bottlenecks, we need the doses of vaccines to begin with to end this nightmare. If we fail, then going into a third lockdown is not out of the cards. And as thing stands, Bangladesh is not a nation that can afford that.