Bangladesh plans to vaccinate children aged 5-12 against COVID in July

Bangladesh plans to start administering COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 5-12 starting in July.

Published : 29 June 2022, 08:15 AM
Updated : 29 June 2022, 08:31 AM

The initiative will start in the last week of the coming month when vaccines suitable for children arrive in the country, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Wednesday.

"Once we get them, we will begin the vaccination programme in July," he said at a news conference.

"I hope we will be able to complete the documentation necessary to distribute these kinds of vaccines by then."

The rise in recent coronavirus cases has worried the government, Maleque said, but the Directorate General of Health Services is not worried.

"We are ready. Hospital development has continued. There aren't many patients in hospitals at this time. If they start coming, we have the capacity and the preparation to handle it."

The children will get Pfizer vaccines, said Dr Meerjady Sabrina Flora, head of the National Vaccine Deployment Committee.

In order to get the vaccine, children aged 5-12 will have to register using their birth certificate on the government's Surokkha app.

Children will not get the same COVID vaccine that adults do, she said.

The syringes needed to administer shots to the children have yet to arrive, she added.

Bangladesh has seen a surge in coronavirus cases recently, registering 2,087 cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 am on Tuesday, taking the overall tally of infections to 1,969,361.

The government has again instituted its ‘No Mask, No Service’ policy, and made it mandatory for citizens to wear masks.

The case positivity rate dropped below 1 percent following a wave of cases driven by the highly infectious omicron variant of the coronavirus. The daily count of cases fell below 10, while no deaths were reported for 20 days in a row.

Infections, however, began to rise in early June. The government started reporting deaths again some days ago.