The government has decided to start administering Covid-19 vaccine doses to schoolchildren in Dhaka metropolitan city late this month, official sources said.
As part of the plan, Secondary and Higher Education Division under the Ministry of Education has already asked authorities of all schools to share information, including the actual number of students.
Confirming the development, spokesman of the ministry Mohammad Abul Khayer told the FE that school authorities were asked to deliver information as quickly as possible.
He said the ministry wants to make the vaccination programme successful in such a way across the country that students can very well be protected from the deadly virus.
Before going for Covid-19 inoculation for school students at mass level, the state-run Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) already launched a trial run of the special vaccination campaign in Manikganj on Thursday.
Some 100 students of two government educational institutions were given Pfizer-Biontech vaccine at the Colonel Malek Medical College Hospital in Manikganj town.
DGHS chief Prof Dr ABM Khurshid Alam said they will observe the vaccinated students for 10-14 days and will decide the next course of action based on the test run's outcome.
"We have not seen any side-effect among the vaccinated students so far. If everything goes well, the mass scale inoculation for students aged 12-17 will kick off in Dhaka soon," Dr Alam said.
According to the DGHS, the Pfizer vaccine will be provided in 19 districts where doses have already been sent.
Initially, the districts where Pfizer will be provided are Barishal, Bhola, Jhalakathi, Chattogram, Chandpur, Cumilla, Laxmipur, Noakhali, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Tangail, Jessore, Satkhira, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Sunamganj, Sylhet and Habiganj.
However, nine cases died from Covid-19 while 396 new virus cases were reported in Bangladesh during the last 24 hours until 8:00 am on Friday.
With the latest daily count, the total deaths from Covid-19 reached 27,746 since the virus was detected here in March 2020, according to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
A total of 18,980 samples, including antigen-based rapid ones, were tested while 19,003 collected countrywide during the period in question.
However, the virus test positivity rate was recorded at 2.09 per cent on Friday, slightly down from the previous day's 2.16 per cent.
On the other hand, 695 cases cured from the coronavirus disease in the country during the last 24-hour reporting time, said the DGHS in its press release.
The recovery rate was 97.56 per cent on the day while the fatality rate remained static at 1.77 per cent.
According to the official data, the total caseload crossed 1.56 million in Bangladesh on Friday, and over 1.52 million of them cured from Covid-19.
Meanwhile, more than 10-million samples have so far been tested in the country since March last year.