Bangladesh on Monday started administering the first doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at three centers in Dhaka to fight off Covid-19.
The vaccine is being administered first at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Sheikh Russel Gastro-liver Institute and Kurmitola General Hospital.In each of these centres, 120 people will be vaccinated every day from 9 am to 3 pm.
Faruk Ahmed, director of Sheikh Russel Gastro-liver Institute, inaugurated the vaccination drive around 10 am.
“We’ve sent messages to 115 vaccine seekers, who had completed their registration with the hospital but failed to get the first jab. All of the 115 vaccine seekers will be given the shots, if they come,” said Faruk.
Besides, Vice-Chancellor of BSMMU Prof Dr Sharfuddin Ahmed and Director of Kurmitola General Hospital Brig Gen Jamil Ahmed inaugurated the vaccination campaign at their respective institutions in the morning.
“It’ll be the test run of vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab. There’ll be a break of 7-10 days after the first day. Then the administering of the vaccine will run in full swing,” Dr Md Shamsul Haque, line director (MNC & AH) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said at a virtual health bulletin on Sunday.
“Those who have already registered for the vaccination in the three hospitals but are yet to get the vaccine yet will receive the jab,” Shamsul said.He said the vaccination with the jab will run in some other hospitals in the capital after the first run.
The nationwide National Vaccination Programme against Covid-19 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on January 27 last.
The vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine started on February 7.
The first run of the inoculation with Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine began in the country on May 25. The administering of the Sinopharm vaccine started in full swing across the country on June 19.
A consignment of 100,620 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Dhaka on May 31. The government received the vaccine under the global vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) gave the emergency use authorisation to the Pfizer vaccine on May 27.
According to the DGDA, the vaccine developed by Pfizer is a two-dose one, the second dose of which will be given three weeks after the first one.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has thoroughly assessed the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine and recommended its use for persons above the age of 16.
A protective effect of the Pfizer vaccine starts to develop 12 days after the first dose, but full protection requires two doses which WHO recommends be administered with a 21 to 28-day interval.