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Govt lowers age limit for booster dose to 50

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 18 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Govt lowers age limit for booster dose to 50

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The government has lowered the age limit of general people for receiving booster dose of coronavirus vaccine to 50 years from 60 years in a bid to ensure special protection for people amid the ongoing fresh wave of the virus transmission in the country.

“Currently, the age limit for receiving booster dose is 60 years. Now, we have taken a decision to lower the age limit so that people aged 50 can take the booster dose. The Prime Minister has also given her approval to that end,” Health Minister Zahid Maleque said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat on Monday.

Mentioning that additional 70 lakh doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be needed to inoculate the targeted people with booster dose due to the reduction in the age limit, he said,  “It is no problem as we have already 9.5 crore doses of the vaccine in our stock.”

However, talking to reporters in the afternoon, Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said they have already received the directive from the ministry regarding the lowering of the age limit for the booster dose.

Earlier on December 19 last year, Bangladesh administered the booster doses of the vaccine as trial case, as part of its measures to fight the pandemic in the wake of the worldwide spread of Omicron.

Later on December 28, the country officially began administering booster doses with Pfizer vaccine.

However, the DGHS in a statement on January 13 asked the authorities concerned to use Moderna vaccine as the third or booster dose instead of Pfizer vaccine at all vaccine centres across Bangladesh.

The DGHS sources said around seven lakh people have already been inoculated with booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

The health ministry said the eligible people can currently receive the booster dose of the vaccine from their respective vaccination centres where they took the first dose and second dose.

However, the selected vaccine recipients are getting SMS from their respective vaccination centres to receive the booster dose.    

Administering the booster dose of the vaccine will continue at a time along with regular vaccination activities at all vaccine centres across the country, including in Dhaka, the ministry added.

Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, director general of the DGHS, recently told reporters that comorbid patients of any age can take the vaccine booster dose, even if they do not receive a confirmation SMS.

“They only have to show documents proving their underlying health conditions to receive the booster dose. We want to give priority to people with cancer, those who have taken anticancer drugs, those who have received radiation, chemotherapy, and other immunocompromised patients," he added.