Bangladesh begins COVID-19 vaccination for schoolchildren

Over 22M children aged 5 to 11 to get pediatric Pfizer vaccines in countrywide drive.

Bangladesh begins COVID-19 vaccination for schoolchildren

Bangladesh on Thursday started vaccination for schoolchildren aged between 5 and 11 with pediatric Pfizer jabs.

A circular by Dhaka District Primary Education Office said the first dose of pediatric Pfizer vaccines received from the COVAX facility will be given to children in 21 centers in the capital Dhaka starting from Aug. 25.

However, all the children aged 5-11 years across the country will come under the coverage, said the Ministry for Health and Family Welfare. Earlier, the age limit for COVID-19 vaccination was 12 to 17 years in Bangladesh.

Three million doses for children have arrived in the country through the COVAX facility, a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Health Ministry has set a target of vaccinating some 22 million children aged 5-11 years across the country with the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. Vaccination will be administered in 55 zones in Dhaka for the next 14 days from Aug. 25.

The US on Tuesday handed over additional 10 million Pfizer vaccine doses to Bangladesh to cover teens and adults. This delivery brings the total number of all US vaccine donations to over 85 million doses.

The COVID-19 vaccination started on Feb. 7 last year in Bangladesh with more than 130 million people taking the first dose.

Over 120 million were given the second dose while over 40 million people were given a booster dose, according to the Directorate General of Health Services.

Bangladesh has so far recorded over 2 million COVID-19 cases, and 29,315 deaths since the pandemic started in December 2019.