Cholera vaccination campaign inaugurated among Rohingyas on Bhasan Char
Under the leadership of the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), icddr,b, and the Civil Surgeon Office of Noakhali, launched a cholera vaccination campaign in Noakhali's Bhasan Char Monday. About 30,000 forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals (FDMNs), commonly referred to as Rohingyas, will be vaccinated using an orally-administered vaccine through this campaign. Dr Mohammad Nazmul Islam, director of Disease Control and Line Director Disease Control Program at the DGHS, and Dr Firdausi Qadri, acting senior director of the Infectious Diseases Division of the icddr,b, were present at the inauguration of the vaccination campaign. Dr Masum Iftekhar, district civil surgeon of Noakhali, was also present. Since December 2020, almost 32,000 Rohingya people have been relocated to Bhasan Char. Unfortunately, a diarrhoeal disease outbreak took place in Bhasan Char in 2021 that affected 1,500 people and killed four. To prevent a similar outbreak from happening, the CDC, DGHS, icddr,b, the WHO, and other development partners have taken the initiative to carry out an oral cholera vaccination (OCV) program in Bhasan Char. At the inauguration, Nazmul said: "The government has been undertaking various initiatives to protect the forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals from infectious diseases. In line with that, we are undertaking an oral cholera vaccination campaign to keep them safe." Read more: Prolonged presence of vast Rohingyas in Bangladesh "not tenable" in any consideration, Momen says in New York Firdausi appreciated the collaborative vaccination effort and said, "icddr,b along with the Communicable Disease Control of the DGHS, other government agencies and development partners have successfully administered around five million doses of oral cholera vaccine to the Rohingya population since they fled persecution in Myanmar and arrived in Cox's Bazar in 2017. The effort possibly prevented large epidemics and saved many lives. Encouraged by the success, we extended our efforts to Bhasan Char, which is susceptible to infectious diseases like cholera. Bangladesh's exemplary efforts in humanitarian settings should serve as a model for other parts of the world." Starting on Monday, February 27, the first dose of the OCV campaign will continue until Wednesday, March 1, from 8 am to 5 pm through 25 centres in Bhasan Char. The second dose of the vaccine will be administered, possibly on March 19. The two-dose Euvichol-Plus Cholera vaccine produced by EuBiologics of South Korea, which is given at least 14 days apart, will be administered to those who are above one year of age. This vaccine is prequalified by the WHO and can be given to all except pregnant women and those who have received other vaccines within the last 14 days.
Thailand reinstates foreign arrival vaccination requirement
The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand will reinstate the requirement that all international passengers show proof of full (two doses) vaccination before boarding flights to Thailand. Saksayam Chidchob, Transport Minister of Thailand, stated yesterday that the Civil Aviation Authority had now formally notified concerned parties about the change in arrival rules for international travelers over the age of 18 that will take effect tomorrow, reports Bangkok Post. “They will last at least until the end of the month,” he said. Also Read: Bangladesh-Vietnam direct flights may begin this year-end Everyone entering the nation needs to provide documentation of a complete immunization record or a letter of proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 infection in the last six months. Travelers who are unvaccinated must provide documentation explaining why they cannot receive a vaccination. Airlines are required to check these documents before boarding passengers and are responsible for returning those who do not have the proper documentation to their point of origin. The guidelines go into effect at the same time that China's border reopens following nearly three years of closures and restrictions.
China races to vaccinate elderly, but many are reluctant
Chinese authorities are going door to door and paying people older than 60 to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But even as cases surge, 64-year-old Li Liansheng said his friends are alarmed by stories of fevers, blood clots and other side effects. “When people hear about such incidents, they may not be willing to take the vaccines,” said Li, who had been vaccinated before he caught COVID-19. A few days after his 10-day bout with the virus, Li is nursing a sore throat and cough. He said it was like a “normal cold” with a mild fever. China has joined other countries in treating cases instead of trying to stamp out virus transmission by dropping or easing rules on testing, quarantines and movement as it tries to reverse an economic slump. But the shift has flooded hospitals with feverish, wheezing patients. The National Health Commission announced a campaign Nov. 29 to raise the vaccination rate among older Chinese, which health experts say is crucial to avoiding a health care crisis. It’s also the biggest hurdle before the ruling Communist Party can lift the last of the world’s most stringent antivirus restrictions. China kept case numbers low for two years with a “zero-COVID” strategy that isolated cities and confined millions of people to their homes. Now, as it backs off that approach, it is facing the widespread outbreaks that other countries have already gone through. The health commission has recorded only six COVID-19 fatalities this month, bringing the country’s official toll to 5,241. That is despite multiple reports by families of relatives dying. China only counts deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure in its official COVID-19 toll, a health official said last week. That unusually narrow definition excludes many deaths other countries would attribute to COVID-19. Experts have forecast 1 to 2 million deaths in China through the end of 2023. Li, who was exercising at the leafy grounds of central Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, said he is considering getting a second booster due to the publicity campaign: “As long as we know the vaccine won’t cause big side effects, we should take it.” Neighborhood committees that form the lowest level of government have been ordered to find everyone 65 and older and keep track of their health. They are doing what state media call the “ideological work” of lobbying residents to persuade elderly relatives to get vaccinated. In Beijing, the Chinese capital, the Liulidun neighborhood is promising people over 60 up to 500 yuan ($70) to get a two-dose vaccination course and one booster. Read more: China launches Covid-19 vaccine inhaled through mouth The National Health Commission announced Dec. 23 the number of people being vaccinated daily had more than doubled to 3.5 million nationwide. But that still is a small fraction of the tens of millions of shots that were being administered every day in early 2021. Older people are put off by potential side effects of Chinese-made vaccines, for which the government hasn’t announced results of testing on people in their 60s and older. Li said a 55-year-old friend suffered fevers and blood clots after being vaccinated. He said they can’t be sure the shot was to blame, but his friend is reluctant to get another. “It’s also said the virus keeps mutating,” Li said. “How do we know if the vaccines we take are useful?” Some are reluctant because they have diabetes, heart problems and other health complications, despite warnings from experts that it is even more urgent for them to be vaccinated because the risks of COVID-19 are more serious than potential vaccine side effects in almost everyone. A 76-year-old man taking his daily walk around the Temple of Heaven with the aid of a stick said he wants to be vaccinated but has diabetes and high blood pressure. The man, who would give only his surname, Fu, said he wears masks and tries to avoid crowds. Older people also felt little urgency because low case numbers before the latest surge meant few faced risk of infection. That earlier lack of infections, however, left China with few people who have developed antibodies against the virus. “Now, the families and relatives of the elderly people should make it clear to them that an infection can cause serious illness and even death,” said Jiang Shibo of the Fudan University medical school in Shanghai. Read more: Reports of severe COVID in China are "extremely concerning", WHO More than 90% of people in China have been vaccinated but only about two-thirds of those over 80, according to the National Health Commission. According to its 2020 census, China has 191 million people aged 65 and over — a group that, on its own, would be the eighth most populous country, ahead of Bangladesh. “Coverage rates for people aged over 80 still need to be improved,” the Shanghai news outlet The Paper said. “The elderly are at high risk.” Du Ming’s son arranged to have the 100-year-old vaccinated, according to his caretaker, Li Zhuqing, who was pushing a face-mask-clad Du through a park in a wheelchair. Li agreed with that approach because none of the family members have been infected, which means they’d be more likely to bring the disease home to Du if they were exposed. Health officials declined requests by reporters to visit vaccination centers. Two who briefly entered centers were ordered to leave when employees found out who they were.
Govt starts administering 2nd booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine in Bangladesh
The government started administering the fourth dose (second booster) of Covid-19 vaccine today. Professor Dr Ahmedul Kabir, additional director general (ADG) of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), inaugurated the campaign at 9:30 am at Kurmitola General Hospital in Dhaka. The government has taken the initiative to administer a fourth dose against Covid-19 as the antibody from the vaccine doesn't last long, said Ahmedul Kabir. “Our aim is to vaccinate 80 lakh people in five categories at the moment though four crore people are eligible to receive the fourth dose in the country. Already 460 people have received the fourth dose on a trial basis,” he said. Read More: 4th dose of Covid vaccine to be administered from Dec 20 The priority will be given to frontline workers and pregnant women, he added. Dr Shamshul Haque, DGHS director of the vaccine campaign, said 15 crore people got the first dose, 12 crore the second dose, and 6.5 crore the third dose of vaccine against Covid-19. “Still there are 1.33 lakh doses of vaccine in stock and will bring more after administering those. There are 11.5 crore people aged above 18 years and all will get vaccinated with the second booster dose in phases,” he added. According to an earlier announcement, the fourth dose will be given at seven centers in the beginning. One hundred people will be vaccinated at each designated centre and they will be kept under observation for two weeks, said the ADG. All citizens having health risks will be vaccinated with the second booster dose from January 1 next year. Read More: Citizens aged above 60 to get 4th dose of Covid vaccine: Health Minister.
Vaccination of children aged 5-11 years from Oct 11 in districts, upazilas
The government will start inoculating children aged between 5 to 11 years against Covid-19 in districts and upazilas from October 11. A total of 2,26,38,737 children across the country will be brought under the vaccination campaign, said Dr Md Anwar Hossain Howladar, Secretary of Health Services Division under the Ministry of Health. The date was announced at a national advocacy workshop on vaccinating children in the city Saturday. From October 11 children at municipality level will be vaccinated and thus children at community level will get the Covid-19 vaccines, said the secretary. Read: Bangladesh rolls out Covid vaccination programme for kids With this, those who did not receive vaccine earlier will be brought under the coverage, he added. “Many countries have no started vaccinating children yet but we have. We sought approval from the World Health Organization earlier and immediately after getting approval we’ve started vaccination campaign,” said the secretary.
First dose of Covid-19 vaccine won’t be administered after Oct 3: Health Minister
Almost 33 lakh people are yet to get the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine, but the government has decided to stop administering the first dose by October 3, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said today. “Nearly 33 lakh people did not receive their first jab yet while 94 lakh people did not receive their second shot of Covid-19 vaccine across the country,” he said while speaking at a workshop over Covid-19 vaccination for children, aged 5-11 years, held at a Dhaka hotel. He also urged people, who have not taken their first Covid-19 vaccine dose yet, to take the shot as soon as possible. Read: Covid-19 vaccine consignment for kids arrive in Dhaka “After the month of October, there is a possibility of first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccine being out of stock. If some remain, those will be expired. So, those who did not receive first, second and booster doses, have been asked to take their respective jabs immediately,” said the health minister. Currently, 2.5 lakh people are working to ensure Covid-19 vaccination and of them 60,000 are administering the vaccines, he said, adding already 30 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered across the country. Talking about administering Covid-19 vaccine among children, Maleque said ten lakh children have received Covid-19 jabs and some 2.15 lakh children are waiting to receive the jabs. Read: US donates additional 10mn Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses to Bangladesh
Covid-19 special vaccination campaign sees lukewarm response: DGHS DG
The daylong Covid-19 vaccination campaign that began Tuesday morning is likely to be extended for two more days due at it witnessed lukewarm response, said Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr Khurshid Alam. Bangladesh launched the fresh round of vaccination drive against Covid, aiming to cover a whopping 75 lakh people in 24 hours. The presence of people is less at health centres as people are not interested to get vaccinated with booster doses due to low infection rate, said Khurshid Alam while talking to reporters after visiting vaccination activities at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday. The special vaccination drive with an aim to inoculate started around 8.30am across the country including Dhaka, he said. Read: Bangladesh kicks off week-long booster dose campaign Replying to a question whether they will be able to achieve today’s target, he said it can be said after the end of the day. “If the target is not achieved then the campaign will continue for two more days.” “We are trying our best to make people aware through publicity and the media can play an important role in this regard. As Covid-19 is on a rising trend now so people should take their booster dose,” he said. He also said the Covid-19 shots can be administered to children aged between 5-11 years at the end of this month as many vaccines and syringes will arrive in the country. Already a meeting was held with the Education Ministry and another meeting will be held with the authorities concerned to take a decision over the vaccination drive, he said adding “At first we will launch the vaccination programme in Dhaka city then in other parts of the country in phases.”
People to get booster shot 4 months after receiving 2nd dose: Minister
People will be eligible for taking booster shot four months after receiving the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Wednesday. “We are conducting the vaccination activities successfully and during the peak time of the pandemic we provided medical services to both Covid and non-Covid patients,” he said at a press briefing on the occasion of the National Deworming Week, held at the ministry. READ: Mass vaccination campaign to continue till Feb 28: Minister Besides, the government has taken an initiative to launch a special vaccination campaign aiming to bring 3.25 crore people under vaccination from March 17 to March 31, marking the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Deworming week The deworming week will start from March 20 and deworming tablets will be given for children aged between 5-16 at all primary and secondary level educational institutions across the country at free of cost. The week-long campaign will be held in all government, private schools, madrashas and orphanages. READ: Regular vaccination campaign to continue even after Feb 26: Minister Some 4 crore children will be brought under the deworming campaign and the dropped out students and street children will be brought under the campaign.
Govt seeks WHO nod for vaccinating children aged 5 and above: Health Minister
In an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, vaccination for primary school students aged five and above will start soon after WHO approval, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday. “We have asked the Education Ministry to prepare a list of the students. We also have contacted the World Health Organisation for its approval,” he told reporters after an emergency on nationwide vaccination situation at Bangladesh Secretariat. The start of the drive for vaccinating primary school students depends on WHO approval, he said in reply to a question. Besides, the mega vaccination drive for administering second dose will begin on March 28 and will continue till March 30. Also read: Bagerhat's shining success in vaccinating students Some 2.25 crore people are likely to receive the second dose during the mega drive, he said. Maleque said 22 crore doses of Covid vaccines so far have been administered in the country covering 75 per cent of the population. An amount of Tk 40,000 crore has been spent for purchasing and administering covid doses, he added. Also read: No decision yet on vaccinating the under-18: DGHS Since the inauguration of the mass inoculation drive in Bangladesh on February 7 last year, some 8,68,44,218 people have been fully vaccinated with two shots and12,54,90,996 people received their first doses till Sunday (March 6). Besides, 42,53,378 people have received booster doses, the minister said.
Covid vaccination for Dublarchar fishermen is underway
A campaign to vaccinate 10,000 fishers against Covid-19 is underway in the remote Bay of Bengal fishing island of Dublarchar off Sundarbans. A 40-member medical team joined the campaign launched on Tuesday, health authorities said. Two booths have been set up to administer the jabs. Lokman Hossain Mia, Senior secretary of Health Services Division visited the island on Wednesday to see the progress of the vaccination. READ: 'Vaccine based on virus-like particles to protect against at least 3 variants' Bagerhat Deputy Civil Surgeon Dr Habibur Rahman said 2500 fishermen were given the until Tuesday night. Muhammad Belayet Hossain, Divisional Forest Officer of Sundarbans East Zone, said 10,000 fishermen are now staying in Dublar Char to catch and dry fish at the peak of the season. READ: 10 million vaccine shots to be administered on Feb 26: Health Minister Fishers expressed satisfaction over the vaccination programme.