Recovery rate from Coronavirus related infection in Bangladesh is 91.77 per cent. This news from the Ministry of Health is as comforting as the news of the pandemic. Interestingly, statistics show that most people who are coming to the health centers to take the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine belong to the educated middle and higher class. Amazingly again, there were less number of poorly educated, disadvantaged, backward and poor class, though the number of such citizens in Bangladesh is exceptionally high. So, if they are not brought under the Covid-19 vaccination program, the benefits will not be visible. On the whole, people over the age of 40 should be vaccinated against the coronavirus. In the beginning, there were many misconceptions surrounding this vaccine. Those who go out to work every day should be safe with vaccines now, but they are in a diverse situation. Furthermore, poor people have no idea where to go to get vaccinated nor how to do the necessary registration for it. Most of them do not have a Smartphone. As a result, many poorly educated and disadvantaged people are being deprived of getting the vaccine.
Already, the first dose of Astra-Zeneca Vaccine for Covid-19 is being given in Bangladesh to those who registered for it, and the second dose of the vaccine will also be given to the same people by the Health Department eight weeks after the first dose. According to the health ministry, the government of India gifted two million doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine to Bangladesh on January 20. The first consignment of 50 lakh doses bought later, came on January 25. The vaccination program started in the country on January 26 and 27 people were vaccinated on the first day. Sum of 541 citizens were immunised in five hospitals in the city on January 27, the 2nd day of the corona immunisation campaign. From February 8 onwards immunisation activities have been going on all over the country. On that day, 31,160 citizens were immunised across the country. So far, nine lakh six thousand 33 people have been vaccinated. Among them, overall only 426 citizens had side effects.Additionally, majority experience side effects on the first two days only. General symptoms may include fever, tiredness and fatigue. Antibodies are usually created 14 days after the second dose of corona vaccine. Corona vaccination of Bangladeshi Covid fighters has started with the whole country in the epidemic war. The second dose should be taken within 28 days of taking the first dose as per the recommendation of the drug regulator. For those who have been vaccinated with the first dose, must keep in mind that the second vaccination is very important. A large section of the people who have been vaccinated with the first dose are reported to be reluctant to be vaccinated a second time. There have been various disagreements about this. Some say the impact is too great. Again, some say it is harmful too. There is a misconception among many people that even after taking this vaccine, several people are being diagnosed as Covid-19 positive. The first vaccination has some mild side effects, people think the second vaccination may have more side effects, so the general public is confused and worried about this.
However, experts said that for a few days, symptoms such as fever, low energy and fatigue may occur. Remember, most of them are easy to deal with. But, many are avoiding the second vaccine because they think it may produce allergies. Hence, some people are afraid of this. They are not concerned with getting vaccinated due to fear of side effects including mild body aches, slight fever, itching, swelling at the injection site, chills, nausea, headache, sickness, or fatigue. In addition, abdominal pain, excessive sweating, dizziness and rashes may occur in about one per cent recipients. It can include breathing difficulties too.
Besides, the people of Bangladesh are in a dilemma as to how the vaccination program will be conducted in Bangladesh during the month of Ramadan. As many Muslims in the country observe fasting, abstaining from food and drink during the day, the question arises if there may be any problem from a religious point of view in vaccination while fasting. The second dose of vaccination for a large number of people will fall in the month of Ramadan as well as many new registrants will also fall in the month of Ramadan.
Before giving the second dose of Covid vaccine, the government and the health ministry should take necessary steps to make people more conscious through the effective use of the media. This will inform the common public about the special needs of the booster vaccine and encourage more people to get the second vaccine dose. The Department of Health of Bangladesh should publicise in the media that maximum immunity is achieved after a minimum of two weeks after taking two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, as well as advising people to adhere to the Covid health rules of using masks even after receiving the vaccine, as the vaccine will not work until the second shot is taken. Though, some people have allergies, however, there is nothing to worry about. You should not be afraid to take the second vaccine if you take the first one. Finally, there is a need to raise awareness among marginalised people about the booster dose and to make the services of the Department of Health more effective and efficient at the village and field level so that they are more easily ready to take the vaccine. The common public should get this vaccine as effortlessly as possible so that they are encouraged to get the booster vaccine and gain immunity to the coronavirus.
Rajib Chandra Das, a MSS Student,Department of Public Administration,
Cumilla University, Bangladesh