Bangladesh will get 5.0 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India, on Monday.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque gave the information while addressing a press conference at the secretariat on Sunday, reports UNB.
“India has already provided us 2 million doses (as a gift). Five million doses will come as per our contract. The rest [of the 25 million doses] will come in phases,” he said.
Maleque said the government is working to preserve the vaccine, adding: “We’ve decided where to keep the vaccines when the rest of the doses come.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the vaccination drive on Jan 27 at Kurmitola Hospital. A nurse will receive the first shot there.
“We have a national committee which will decide how the vaccination campaign will be carried out. They’ve finished preparations,” he said.
The government has a list of everyone who will be vaccinated, he said.
Maleque said the government will not force anyone to receive the vaccine.
“We’ll provide vaccine doses to those who’ll seek it voluntarily. The nurses who’ll be vaccinated at Kurmitola are coming forward on their own,” the minister said.
"People working on the front line will be vaccinated first as per the WHO guideline. Journalists will get the vaccine in due time as they work with risk."
Maleque said many people are talking about side effects. Many medicines have side effects and we can’t guarantee that there won’t be any in this case.
“The usual side effect is slight dizziness,” he said. “We’ve arranged instant treatment at hospitals in such case.”
When asked how the government will assure the people to receive the jab, he said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s side effect is less than that of other vaccines.
“Hundreds of thousands of doses have been used in India and UK. So, there’s no need for a trial,” the minister said.