Many people are in frustration as they are yet to receive confirmation SMS for getting vaccinated against coronavirus even after two months of online registration.
Talking to the Daily Sun, several vaccine seekers said they have not received any SMS after completing the online registration process. Some of them are waiting for their vaccination appointments for more than a month after registration.
“None but pregnant women can receive the vaccine without SMS from their respective vaccine centres,” he said.
“However, we have already given instructions to the vaccine centres to give vaccine to people aged above 50 years and students on the priority basis.”
According to the DGHS, 38,919,189 people from across the country have registered online to receive the Covid-19 vaccine till September 4. Some 19,081,007 people have received the first dose of the vaccine and 8,526,309 people received the second dose.
The government has launched the nationwide vaccination programme on February 7 this year. Now the authorities are using Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, Sinopharm vaccine, Moderna vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the vaccination programme.
All general people aged 25 and above can take the vaccine through registering online while the university students aged 18 and above are also eligible for taking the vaccine. Talking to the Daily Sun, Jamal Hossain Patwary, a resident of the city’s Bashundhara residential area, said he has registered for vaccination on August 12. But he is yet to receive any SMS from his selected vaccine centre --- Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Government Hospital.
Afsana, a resident of Bhatara area of the capital, received the first dose of vaccine from TB Hospital in Mohakhali but she didn’t get any SMS for the second dose in around 50 days.
“A large number of people have registered for vaccine within a short period. That caused some of the vaccination centres to reach the end of their capacity. That’s why a backlog has been created in delivering the SMS,” Prof. Dr. Mijanur Rahman, Director, MIS of the DGHS told the Daily Sun.
He said they are working to resolve the problem and to regularize the vaccination activities. “However, we need to increase our capacity and deploy adequate manpower to conduct the programme smoothly,” the DGHS official added.
Dr Md Shihabuddin, Superintendent of Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Govt. Hospital, said they are giving vaccine to around 1,500 people every day. “If we increase our capacity, we will be able to overcome the backlog,” he said.
Shihabuddin said they have already discussed the issue with the health directorate in a bid to vaccinate around 3,000 people every day.
The government conducted a nationwide vaccination campaign of the first dose vaccine from August 7-12 to bring more people under the vaccination programme.
The government will conduct another nationwide campaign for the second dose of the vaccine from September 7, Dr Shamsul Haque of the DGHS said during a health bulletin on Sunday.
Health experts said the government should increase the capacity of vaccination centres to smoothen the ongoing vaccination programme against Covid-19.
Dr, Shamsul Haque said the health directorate is also trying to increase the number of vaccine centres and manpower to ease the backlog in vaccination programme across the country.
Earlier on Saturday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said those between the age group 12-18 may have an opportunity to receive Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines as per the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Earlier on August 19, the government allowed people 18 years and above to receive Covid-19 vaccines.
Education Minister Dipu Moni on Sunday said primary, secondary and higher secondary educational institutions will be reopened from 12 September after 18 months closure due to Covid-19.