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No plan for administering booster dose

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 11 October, 2021 12:00 AM
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The government currently has no plan for administering booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine in the country as it is now working in full swing to bring the targeted population under vaccination.

The government is now administering vaccine to general people aged 25 and university students aged 18 under the National Vaccination Programme against Covid-19.

Currently, first dose and second doses are being administered to people with AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Sinopharm vaccines across the country.

Sources at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said the government has no plan to administer booster dose to people who have already received their double doses at this moment as it wants to ensure vaccine for all targeted people.

According to media reports, several countries, including the United States and Singapore, have started administering the booster doses to various groups of people, including health workers, elderly and patients with co-morbidity, although there is no such directive by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Malaysia has granted conditional approval for the Covid-19 vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech to be used as a booster shot, the reports added.

In a statement on October 4, WHO said booster doses are administered to a vaccinated population that has completed a primary vaccination series (currently one or two doses of Covid-19 vaccine depending on the product) when, with time, the immunity and clinical protection has fallen below a rate deemed sufficient in that population. The objective of a booster dose is to restore vaccine effectiveness from that deemed no longer sufficient.

Addressing a press conference in the capital on Sunday, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque said the government has so far received a total of 7.22 crore vaccine doses. “Some 3.61 crore people have received their first dose while 1.79 crore others two doses. We’ve administered a total of 5.41 crore vaccines and now 1.81 crore vaccines are in our hand.”

“If we get our purchased vaccines and those under the Covax facility in time, we’ll be able to inoculate 8 crore or around 50 percent people with double doses within January. We’ll be able to vaccinate 12 crore or around 70 percent people by March-April next year,” he said.