The country’s coronavirus vaccination drive came to a halt after India stopped its vaccine shipments. The neighbouring country stopped the export of vaccines during a surge in new infections and a rising death toll in its own territory. However, about 5.6 million people have reportedly received at least one dose of the vaccine, while some 50,000 have received two shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
On the other hand, millions of people have registered online to receive a shot since the countrywide vaccination drive started in February this year. Dhaka initially signed a deal with New Delhi in 2020 to buy 30 million doses of the vaccine. As per the contract, it was supposed to get 5 million shots per month from January to June this year. But, it merely received 7 million doses under the deal in the first two months of the year. It is not yet clear when Delhi will again be able to deliver the promised vaccine doses to Dhaka.Because of Delhi’s apparent inability to export the vaccines, our vaccination campaign was severely disrupted although the government started it a bit earlier than some other countries. Eventually, the government fell into trouble. But, it did not stop its search for finding an alternative. Following its relentless efforts, it has been able to receive the first consignment of 100,620 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine under the Covax facility run by the WHO and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine inoculation drive reportedly began last month.
It is rejoicing to note that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given an assurance of a massive countrywide vaccination drive from this month. She announced that her government has already collected 1.14 crore doses of vaccines from different sources. Her assurance that the government would provide any amount of money to collect Covid-19 vaccines to ensure free jabs for all came as a sigh of relief for the countrymen.