CHATTOGRAM: No vaccination programme for second dose took place at Shovandandi union under Patiya upazila for the consequence of unlawful vaccination programme for first dose there at the behest of Whip and lawmaker Shamsul Haque Chowdhury.
Now, vaccination for the huge number of people appeared as uncertain as the process of their first dose was unlawful. The unauthorised vaccination programme was conducted by suspended Medical Technologist Rabiul Hossain as the behest of the whip.
Some areas of the Shovandandi union were also kept out of the mass vaccination started on July 7 across the country.
Sources said that around 2,600 people are the victim of the unauthorised vaccination programme carried out at Rashidabad Arfa Karim High School and Shovondandi School and College in exchange of money on July 30 and July 31.
The Upazila Health and Family Welfare Officer Dr Sabbyasachi Nath told the Daily Sun that the unregistered people was not given the second dose as they received the first dose in an unlawful programme.
However, they will take necessary initiatives to provide second dose after having direction from the district Civil Surgeon and Divisional Health Director, he said.
“We are conducting mass vaccination programme approved by the government while those are out of it”, he said.
“We are not responsible for the deprivation of such huge number people,” said the chairman.
Mentionable, Rabiul and some of his associates carried out the vaccination programme unlawfully at the behest of Whip Shamsul at the Shovandandi union on July 30 and July 31, eight days prior to the scheduled date.
The whip visited the vaccination programme which was supposed to begin on August 7 at the union level.
Some 2,600 people were vaccinated at Rashidabad Arfa Karim High School and Shovandandi School and College in exchange of money during the vaccination.
Of the centres, Arfa Karim High School is located few hundred yards off the whip’s village home.
The vaccination programme violating the government directive drew huge criticism and resentment among the vaccine seekers, who were waiting for long, they said.
None of the upazila health and family welfare officer, civil surgeon and divisional health director was aware of the early vaccination programme at Shovandandi union.
Rabiul, a follower of the whip, claimed that he received verbal consent from the lawmaker for the vaccination while the local upazila chairman and union parishad members were aware of it.
“I informed all of the matter. The whip gave the consent after I wished to do something for people of the locality,” Rabiul said then.
Local sources said the decision for vaccination was taken at the directive of the whip after discussion with the union Awami League leaders.
The organisers called upon the people above 30 years to come to the temporary vaccine centres with their identity cards for vaccination under the arrangement of union Awami League.
Banners hanging at the vaccination centres also carried the message that the programme was taken with the sincere effort of the whip, said the sources.
Moreover, although he is not a health worker, the brother of whip also administered vaccine doses to people at the unauthorised vaccination programme.
The incident drew huge criticism from different quarters while Awami League (AL) leaders are embarrassed following the activities at the will of the whip and his family members.
Such activities violating the government directive will also tarnish the government’s sincere efforts to ensure vaccines for the people to save them from the lethal virus, they said.
Witnesses said whip’s brother Fazlul Haque Chowdhury Mohabbat participated in the vaccination programme like a health worker and pushed vaccines to people.
The participation of an unskilled common person in such a sensitive task of administering vaccine created resentment among many. Mohabbat was seen pushing vaccines in photographs taken during the programme, said sources.
Some people also experienced pain and other symptoms after receiving vaccines from the untrained persons, they added.
The committee formed to investigate into the unauthorised early vaccination at Patiya revealed serious irregularities by the Medical Technologist Rabiul Hossain and his associates.
The committee found evidence of the unauthorised vaccination programme and trade in violation of the government directive by the followers of the whip.
Later, the committee submitted the report to the Director General (DG) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on August 2.
DGHS temporarily suspended the Medical Technologist (EPI) Rabiul Hossain.
Moreover, the CCTV footages of the upazila EPI Centre, where the vaccines are preserved, were also found as vanished. It caused the investigators to face trouble to identify the persons involved with the incident.
The committee revealed that a total of 2,600 vaccines were taken from the Patiya Upazila Health Complex EPI Centre to Shovandandi union without maintaining proper procedures and permission from the authority.
Out of the total 2,600, a total of 2,200 vaccine registration cards were also found as fake in the investigation.
The upazila health complex authority also filed a general diary (GD) with the Patiya police station on August 5 for taking the vaccines from the stock of the health complex EPI centre without informing anyone concerned with the health department.