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Govt may provide booster dose of vaccine for KSA-bound expats

  • Rajib Kanti Roy
  • 17 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Govt may provide booster dose of vaccine for KSA-bound expats

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The government is likely to arrange booster dose of four Saudi Arabia approved vaccines -- Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson -- for the Gulf State-bound expatriates who have already taken Sinopharm jab.

It is estimated that a good number of Bangladeshi passengers have received Chinese vaccines without knowing about the precondition of the oil rich Middle Eastern country for taking booster dose if anyone intends to travel to the kingdom after taking Chinese jabs, which they have approved.

A policy decision has been made to provide booster dose of corona vaccine for the Saudi-bound passengers. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will give instructions in this regard very soon.

Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed confirmed the matter on Thursday.

“The Saudi government has decided to approve Chinese vaccine. It has added Sinopharm and Sinovac to four vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) which they are inoculating,” he said.

“But, the Saudi government has said that those who have received the Chinese vaccine have to take any of the four vaccines earlier approved by Saudi Arabia and WHO as an extra dose,” the minister added.

He has said the government has decided to arrange booster dose for the Saudi-bound expatriates who have already taken Sinopharm jab. And the process may begin next week.

“We have informed the Ministry of Health in this regard, discussed the issue at our last inter-ministerial meeting and made a policy decision of giving booster dose,” Imran Ahmed said, adding that those who will go to Saudi Arabia but have taken Chinese vaccine have to bring their passports, tickets and vaccination cards in the vaccine centre with them to get booster dose.

According to a source at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, during the early stage of coronavirus vaccination campaign the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry shared their fear that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait-bound expatriates in village areas may take Chinese vaccine which may create problems for them.

Then the Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment ministry repeatedly tried to spread the message that none of the Chinese vaccine was approved by the Saudi government so that the expatriates did not take Chinese jab.

But many Saudi Arabia-bound expatriates have taken Chinese vaccine ignoring the message.