The Bangladesh government will stop administering the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in November and only distribute booster doses afterwards, according to the Directorate General of Health Services, bdnews24.com reports.
“The vaccines set aside for the first and second doses expire in November,” Dr Md Shamsul Haque, the DGHS director responsible for the vaccine programme, said on Tuesday.
“After November, we won’t have any more first and second doses of the vaccine in hand. However, we still have large amounts for booster doses. We are also making arrangements to procure more. As such, after November, we will only distribute booster doses. There won’t be any first or second dose.”
The DGHS has, so far, procured over 300 million vaccines for the coronavirus, Dr Shamsul said. Of these, 288.5 million doses have been administered, while 19.3 million remain in stock.
The DGHS set a target of administering the first dose of the vaccine to 132.9 million people. So far, 129.6 million have received the first dose, for a shortfall of 3.3 million. Another 9.4 million people have gotten their first dose of the vaccine, but not the second.
“About 12.7 million people have not received the first or second dose. The DGHS has that many vaccines in stock. The vaccines set aside for these 12.7 million people will expire in November.”
“We are talking about this in order to emphasise its importance – those who have not received their first dose should get it as quickly as possible. Then they should get the second dose a month later.”
About 8,000-10,000 people are getting the first dose of the vaccine every day, Dr Shamsul said.
As of Monday, 129.6 million people had received the first dose of the vaccine, 122.4 million have received their second dose and about 39.82 million the booster dose.