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Govt to distribute 30m Covid-19 vaccines for free

Published : Tuesday, 1 December, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 344

The government has decided to distribute 30 million (three crore) doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford and produced in India among people for free. To import the vaccines the government has already allocated Tk 735.77 crore and released the amount.
The Cabinet on Monday gave its nod to buying and distributing the vaccines to the people free of cost.
The meeting was held at the Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The Prime Minister joined the meeting through videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban while other Cabinet members connected from the Secretariat's Cabinet conference room.
"Although the government will buy the vaccines from different sources including India, it will be distributed among the people free of cost as per the World Health Organisation (WHO) protocol in the first phase," Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said while briefing media at the Secretariat after the Cabinet meeting.
The meeting also approved the draft of 'National Emergency Service 999 Guideline, 2020' keeping the provision of punishment for misuse of the service and misguiding the authority by giving false information, the Cabinet Secretary added.
He said the government has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the  Beximco Pharmaceuticals of Bangladesh and Serum Institute of India (SII), which is producing the Oxford developed vaccine, to collect three crore shots of Covid-19 vaccines.
Under the MoU, the SII will provide Bangladesh three crore doses of Oxford developed vaccine, the Cabinet Secretary added.
The latest development of vaccine collection and the ways to deal with the second wave of Covid-19 were also discussed in the Cabinet. The Finance division has released Tk 735.77 crore for procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine, he informed.
Regarding further steps of vaccine collection for the rest of the people, he said that the Health Ministry is working on the matter. They have already communicated with several vaccine developing countries and authorities. Hopefully, they will be able to collect the vaccine in time.
The Oxford developed vaccine would be preserved within the temperature of eight degree centigrade (8°C), which is available in Bangladesh. The second dose of the vaccine will be given 28 days after the first dose.
According to the government policy, the vaccine will be given to vulnerable people. In such cases, the Covid-19 fighters including health services providing doctors, nurses and technicians, elderly people, seriously sick people, individuals with low immunity, people involved with educational institutions and transport workers will get priority.
Before starting the distribution of vaccine, the authorities will prepare a priority list of the people. Following the list, the vaccine will be given. Separate monitoring committees will monitor the vaccination activities at central, district and upazila levels.
According to the newly-approved 'National Emergency Service 999 Guideline, 2020', a separate unit of Bangladesh Police will be formed to provide services under the guideline. A Deputy Inspector General (DIG) level officer of police will head the authority.
The meeting was also apprised of the progress made in 'Bangladesh Ba-Dwip Parikalpona (Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100)' and five strategy papers on information and communication technology sector prepared by the Information and Communication Technology Division.

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