COVID Vaccination begins in Bangladesh, gets warm response


Published on February 8, 2021
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Mass inoculation against Covid-19 that began across the country yesterday drew warm response from different sections of people.

In most of the districts, cabinet members, lawmakers and government officials took the shot of vaccine to gain public trust.

The health department has set up multiple booths at district headquarters and upazila health complexes for administering the vaccine.

Significant numbers of health workers have been trained up at district and upazila levels to run the programme effectively.

Mehedi Hasan, country representative of KPMG International Ltd, took his weak and elderly mother to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University vaccination centre around noon yesterday.

"I am very happy to get my mother vaccinated. But it would have been better if all other members of my family could be vaccinated," said Mehedi.

Urban planner of Mymensingh City Corporation Manas Biswas said he took the shot on the first day of the mass inoculation campaign to encourage people to get vaccinated and debunk rumors that the vaccine might be harmful.

Syed Modasser Ali, former adviser to the prime minister, took the shot and urged people to get vaccinated as it will protect the elderly people, who are more vulnerable to Covid-19.

"I am 78. I have been a diabetic patient for 35 years. There is a very slim chance of survival if I get infected. That's why I took the shot," he said.

The year-long mass vaccination programme started yesterday across the country with the frontline workers and people aged above 55 years taking the shots.

Some 31,160 people took the jabs in 1,005 vaccination centres across the country, according to the data received by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) as of 6:00pm yesterday.

In the morning, Health Minister Zahid Maleque inaugurated the campaign by addressing different vaccination teams through video conference from the health directorate.

A number of eminent personalities took the vaccine.

"I really felt relief after taking the vaccine today. There is no reason to be fearful about the vaccine," Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak said after getting the shot at the Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute and Hospital.

Urging people to take vaccine, he said, "Those who are spreading rumors are doing it with a motive. As experts worldwide said — we have to take vaccine to stay safe."

Country's prime medical college, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, started its vaccination programme giving its official Dipankar Ghosh the shot.

"I am not nervous at all as I am aware of the vaccination process. I would urge everyone to get vaccinated to stay safe."

After him, doctors, nurses, health officials and other common people started taking the jabs at the DMCH.

After being vaccinated at DMCH around noon yesterday, Workers Party of Bangladesh President Rashed Khan Menon said, "It felt like getting a regular flu or pneumonia vaccine."

Each and every countrymen should come forward and participate in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, said Menon, also a lawmaker.

He said the government was proactive in bringing the vaccine and Bangladesh is one of the few countries to get the shots this early.

Menon said as far as he knows the Covid-19 vaccine is safe. He urged people not to worry about it.

As of yesterday afternoon, some 270 people, including 102 females, were vaccinated at the DMCH while there was no reported case of immediate side-effects, said the hospital's Deputy Director Alauddin Al Azad.

He said in the coming days, freedom fighters and persons with disabilities would be given priority at the hospital.

Talking to journalists around noon, DMCH Director Brig Gen Nazmul Haque said frontliners and senior citizens were being given priority.

He said they have a facility for spot registration at the DMCH.

He, however, encouraged people to register before going to the hospital to save time for everyone.

Asked whether he was nervous while getting the shot, Shushanto Kumar Paul Chowdhury, 76, a former government official, replied in the negative.

He said he would have the second dose on March 8 as prescribed by the DMCH authorities.

High Court judges, Dhaka University teachers, officers of Bangabhaban and staff-doctors of BSMMU took the vaccine at the BSMMU.

Justice Kazi Zinat Hoque got the first shot given at the BSMMU. After her, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman and Justice Ruhul Kuddus received the vaccine.

Muhammad Samad, pro-VC (administration) of DU, got the first shot among teachers. DU VC Md Akhtaruzzaman, pro-VC ASM Maksud Kamal, and members of proctorial team also got vaccinated.

State Minister for Public Administration Forhad Hossain, President of National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 Mohammad Shahidullah, Chief Coordinator of the burn units across the country Samanta Lal Sen, President of Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, BMA Secretary Ehteshamul Haque Choudhury Dulal, and President of Swadhinata Chikitshok Parishad MA Aziz also got the shots at Sheikh Russel Gastroliver Institute and Hospital.

Railway Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujon took the shot at the secretariat clinic vaccine center while Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam and Chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of DMP Md Monirul Islam got the vaccine at the Central Police Hospital.

Those who took the vaccine, urged mass people not to panic over it as they did not face any adverse effect.

"I took the first shot of vaccine in this district. I am absolutely fine. I have not gotten any report of side effects among those who have been vaccinated here," said Dr Muhammad Imtiaz, Civil Surgeon of Narayanganj.

Sixty-five-year-old Sabeda Khanam, resident of Station Road in Gouripur upazila of Mymensingh, yesterday took the vaccine at Mymensingh Medical College.

"Earlier, I was in fear that I might get sick due to adverse effect of the vaccine. But I am feeling well and healthy," she told The Daily Star.

In Chattogram, vaccination started with inoculating the Deputy Minister for Education Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury at Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH) in the morning.

Meanwhile, people queued up at the vaccination centre at Chattogram Medical College Hospital from 10:30am to get their shots. Photo: Rajib Raihan.

Later, senior government officials and health workers in the district were vaccinated at CMCH where four booths -- two for men and two for women – have been opened.

In Rajshahi, mostly health workers and security personnel were vaccinated. Health officials said anyone who has completed online registration will be allowed to take vaccine.

In Khulna, the city's Mayor Talukder Abdul Khalek inaugurated Covid-19 vaccination by receiving the first dose in the district around.

Vaccines will be administered in 13 centres in Khulna city along with some other centres at upazila health complexes.

In Barishal, the city Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah launched the vaccination programme at Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH), while another lawmaker Nasreen Jahan Ratna took the vaccine at Bakerganj Upazila Health Complex. A total of 197 people were vaccinated in Barishal.

In Sylhet, vaccination began at Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital yesterday morning with city councillor Taufiq Baksh Lipon receiving the first dose in the city.

On the first day, some 700 people took the vaccine. A total of 52 booths have been set up in the district to vaccinate people.

In Patuakhali, 297 people were vaccinated at 26 centres. Lawmaker Kazi Kaniz Sultana Helen inaugurated vaccination at Patuakhali Medical College Hospital at 10am.

In Manikganj, a total of 626 people took the vaccine in nine centres. On the first day, the maximum number of vaccinated people were government officials.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) SM Ferdaus, Police Superintendent Rifat Rahman Shamim and Civil Surgeon Dr Anwarul Amin Akhanda took the vaccine together in the district hospital

In Cumilla, vaccination began with a warm response from people. Top government and military officials received vaccines on the first day. The district's Deputy Commissioner Abul Fazal Mir received the first dose of vaccine at Cumilla Medical College Hospital around 10 am.

In Chapainawabganj, DC Monjurul Hafiz inaugurated the vaccination program by receiving the first dose at 10 am in Sadar Hospital.

Later, Civil Surgeon Dr Zahid Nazrul Chowdhury and staff of the health department received their vaccine shots. People of the district will be given the vaccine at 20 centres.

In Tangail, a total of 976 people were vaccinated on the first day. A total of 42 vaccination booths have been set up in the district. The district's DC Dr Ataul Goni took the first vaccine.

Courtesy: The Daily Star