Students in Bagerhat have raced ahead of most members of their cohorts in other parts of the country, when it comes to getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This has put them in a strong position to fully resume in-person schooling with pre-pandemic schedules ahead of most other districts, given the government’s mandate that only the students who are vaccinated could attend schools.
Driven by this challenge, all the students aged 12-17 in 9 upazilas of Bagerhat, have successfully completed their first doses of the vaccine. They are now up for the second dose.
Already this week, long queues of students were seen forming during a visit to the Bagerhat Sadar Hospital – all belonging to the same group, lining up now for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Azizur Rahman said, “We have successfully brought all students aged 12-17 under the vaccination programme. Now efforts are being made to bring all students aged above 18 under vaccination by January.”
Bagerhat District Education Officer Kamruzzaman said that a list of students above 18 in the district have been made. According to it, in Bagerhat district there are 33,112 students above 18. Of them 29,531 got their first dose. Remaining 3,531 have registered through the app.
Both the parents and the teachers are happy that the district administration managed to bring all the students under vaccination. They have highly praised the efforts made to make the students aware of the importance of vaccinating.
Bagehat Civil Surgeon Dr Jalal Uddin said, our target was to vaccinate a total of 1,36,651 students aged 12-17 but we have administered the first dose vaccine to 1,41,308 students within this age range. This took the vaccination rate in the district to 103 per cent. The additional 4,657 students were dropouts.
Students received vaccines in 14 booths in 9 upazilas of the district; they came to the centers with enthusiasm and received the vaccines, Dr Jalal Uddin said.
So far, 11,669 students have received the second dose of vaccine, he added.
Pradeep Bakshi, Health and Family Planning Officer of Bagerhat, said administering the first dose vaccine began on December 5. Huge promotion was made for the vaccination programme. Now the second dose is being given, he said.
Chittaranjan Pal, headmaster of Bagerhat Government Girls’ High School said, all 1,330 students at his school received the first dose of the vaccine.
Aprita Mahanta, a 9th-grade student of Bagerhat Government Girls’ High School, said that after registering and receiving a text message on her mobile phone, she went to Bagerhat Sadar Hospital on January 8 and took the first dose Pfizer vaccine.
Now she is going to school regularly. She is waiting for the second dose, which she will get as soon as she receives a text message, she said
Sheikh Asaduzzaman said his son is at 9th-grade in Government Boys High School. The boy received his first dose of the vaccine a month ago. As a father he was very conscious so he encouraged his son to get vaccinated on time. The boy was taken to Sadar Hospital last Tuesday for the second dose.
Anita Biswas, Kohinoor Begum, Sultana Khatun, Debashish Pal, Mohan Ali and several other parents said that their sons and daughters received the first dose vaccine around a fortnight ago. They are going to schools and colleges regularly.
The parents expressed their concern as their children are lagging behind in education due to the long closure caused by the pandemic. According to them, when educational institutions remain closed, frustration works among the students as well as parents. As the children have been vaccinated following government guidelines and the institutions are operating according to the health guidelines, the students are able to attend classes. So, the parents are happy with it.
According to the health department, the total population of Bagerhat district is 16 lakh 44 thousand 438 people. Of these, 80 percent will receive the coronavirus vaccine. As such, corona vaccine will be given to 12 lakh 21 thousand 105 people (12.2 lakh approx) in Bagerhat. In the meantime, a total of 10 lakh 8 thousand 6 corona vaccine doses have been administered in the district. The number of people who have received the first dose if 6 lakh 75 thousand 695 people (6.75 lakh). That means the first dose has been given to 56.82 percent of the targeted population, while 38.75 percnt of the target has been fully vaccinated.
Bagerhat District Education Officer. Kamruzzaman said work is underway to compile a list of senior students (above 18 years old) in the district. Through the list, they can know the total number of students above 18 in the district.
According to the health department, the total population of Bagerhat district is 17,44,437. Of them 70 per cent, that is 12,21,105 will receive the Covid vaccines. Already 10,70,007 people have received the first dose vaccine and 6,75,895 people have received the second dose. The first dose was given to 57.72 per cent people and the second dose to 38.75 per cent people.
Source: United News of Bangladesh