Medical &Health

Booster doses to be rolled out on trial basis from Sunday: Health Minister

Covid-19 booster doses will be administered on trial basis from Sunday, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque.

However, the minister did not mention the time and vaccination center where the booster doses will be administered.

The minister said this at a Pitha-Puli festival in Manikganj on Friday.

Maleque said the government decided to administer booster doses to senior citizens aged above 60 and frontliners, including doctors, nurses, government officials and journalists, who got the two doses of vaccine six months ago.

He said that all the activities to administer booster doses are underway. “The Prime Minister also has given approval to start a booster dose.”

In this regard, steps to update the ‘Surokkha’ app are in progress. Besides, lists of those who are eligible for booster dose are being prepared, said the minister.

Zahid Maleque said seven crore people received the first dose and 4.5 crore people have been fully vaccinated so far in Bangladesh.

There is no shortage of covid vaccines in the country. Currently, seven lakh doses of Pfizer vaccines are in stock. In all, 4.45 crore doses of vaccine are in stock.

Two crore more doses of vaccine will arrive next month, the minister added.

On Wednesday, Zahid Maleque said at a programme while receiving 80 lakh doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Japan and UK through the global COVAX facility that the drive to administer Covid-19 booster doses will be in the next seven to ten days.

On Monday, the Cabinet directed the authorities concerned, particularly the Health Minister and the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19, to work on a precise guideline over the campaign of booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh.

PM also instructed earlier the technical committee to work on a precise guideline over when the booster dose campaign needs to be started.

On Sunday, the National Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC) on Covid-19 recommended booster shots to the citizens above 60 and frontliners.

The senior citizens and frontliners who got the two doses of vaccine six months ago will get the booster dose, the NTAC recommended at a meeting.

It also suggested all to take steps to limit public gatherings, meetings and rallies to contain the spread of Omicron.

On December 9, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Omicron is now present in 57 countries and asked all countries to stay alert about the new variant.

A WHO panel named the Coronavirus variant ‘Omicron’ and classified it as a highly transmissible virus of concern, the same category that includes the predominant delta variant, which is still a scourge driving higher cases of sickness and death in Europe and parts of the USA.

Amid the growing concern over the new ‘Omicron’ variant of coronavirus, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) suggested the implementation of 15 instructions to prevent the spread of the new variant and urged all concerned to take measures to enforce the instructions.

Source: United News of Bangladesh