Vaccination with AstraZeneca to be stopped after 7 days

Govt to restart first dose with Sinopharm vaccine

Mohammad Al Amin

17 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The first dose vaccination under National Vaccination Programme against Covid-19 may be stopped after seven days as stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is likely to be finished by the period.

“The second dose of vaccination may continue for around a week with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. We will continue vaccination until finishing the vaccine shots,” Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), told the Daily Sun on Sunday.

Mentioning that they will complete the second dose with the same vaccine after getting the rest of the vaccine as there are some shortfalls in completing the second dose with the same vaccine, he said, “We are trying to bring the Oxford vaccine from various countries, including US, UK, Denmark and Australia, to fill up the shortage of the vaccine but we are yet to get any signal in this regard.”

“However, we have time to give the second dose with the Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine as the vaccine can be given with a gap of 12 weeks,” the DGHS chief said.

He said the government will restart the first dose of vaccine for the rest of the people with Sinopharm’s vaccine of China.

Speaking at the health bulletin of the DGHS on Sunday, its spokesperson Dr Md Nazmul Islam said, “The second dose of vaccination may continue for the next seven days with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which remains in the government stock. We hope we can complete the second dose after getting more doses of the vaccine soon,”     “The vaccination with Covishield vaccine will be stopped if the stock is finished and it will remain stopped until we can collect new ones. Those who have taken the first dose of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine do not have the scope of taking the second dose with another company’s vaccine,” he said.

According to the DGHS, if it gets 20 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, then they can complete the second dose of the vaccination as there is a shortage of 17-18 lakh vaccines to complete the vaccination with the same vaccine.

The DGHS on May 6 stopped the registration process due to the vaccine crisis. A total of 72,48,829 people registered for the coronavirus vaccine until 5:30pm on May 5. The registration process started on January 27 after the formal inauguration of the National Vaccination Programme by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

It said 58,19,811 people received the first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca (Covishield) vaccine. Administering the first dose was stopped on April 26 due to vaccine shortage.           

The DGHS data said 37,00,083 people have taken the second dose of the vaccine until May 16.

According to the DGHS, it has already given 95,19,995 vaccine doses (first and second) while 7,80,005 vaccine shots are now in stock to administer the second dose.

The nationwide inoculation began on February 7.

Bangladesh got a total of 1.3 crore doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Of the total vaccine shots, the government purchased 70 lakh doses from the Serum Institute and received 33 lakh more as gift from the Indian government.

Bangladesh already got five lakh Sinopharm’s vaccine as gift of Chinese government.

Health and family welfare minister Zahid Maleque said the Bangladesh government has proposed to buy four/five crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine by December from China.

Meanwhile, Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) sources said country’s Incepta Pharmaceuticals has got its permission to manufacture the Sinopharm’s vaccine here.

The DGDA is likely to come up with details about it at a press conference on Monday.