The Directorate General of Health Services, or DGHS, has ordered Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to be used in place of Pfizer shots for booster doses at vaccination centres across the country, bdnews24.com reports.
The Pfizer vaccine will, instead, be reserved for use as the first and second doses for students in school and college (ages 12-17) and other people who have already received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The instruction was sent out to all directors of government medical colleges, the chief health officials at city colleges, government general hospitals, district central hospitals, hospitals with at least 250 beds, civil surgeons, upazila health and family welfare officials and medical officers of every municipality.
The DGHS rolled out its coronavirus booster vaccine programme on Dec 28. The doses are currently going to people over the age of 60 and frontline workers. A person becomes eligible for the third vaccine dose if at least six months have passed since they received their second.
Those who are eligible for the booster will be notified by SMS and be able to get the shot at the same vaccination centre they got their previous doses at.
Currently, Bangladesh is giving Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines for the first and second doses. The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, however, has only recommended the use of Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines as boosters.
According to the DGHS count, 540,526 people have received the booster dose so far. Most of them – 270,462 – got the Pfizer vaccine. Another 247,330 got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and 22,734 got the Moderna vaccine.