The government started administering the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in three hospitals in the capital on Monday on a trial basis.
However, the final vaccination will start after 7-10 days observation of the vaccine recipients of the first run, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.The campaign for inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine was inaugurated at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) at 9:30am. Other centres are Kurmitola General Hospital and Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital.
A total of 240 people received the shots of Pfizer vaccine in the three hospitals on Monday. Some 84 people received the first dose of Pfizer vaccine in BSMMU, 78 in Kurmitola General Hospital and 78 in Sheikh Russel Gastro Liver Institute and Hospital.
The DGHS has targeted to inoculate 120 people with the Pfizer vaccine in each vaccination centre.
Speaking at the health bulletin of the DGHS, its line director Dr Md Shamsul Haque on Sunday said, “It’ll be 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.”
He said the first run of inoculation with the Pfizer vaccine will start at three centres in the capital. Later, the vaccination with the jab will run in some other hospitals in the capital after the first run.
The DGHS official said those who have already registered for the vaccination in the three hospitals but are yet to get the vaccine will receive the jab.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.
The nationwide National Vaccination Programme against Covid-19 was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on January 27 this year.