500,000 Sinopharm shots to be administered on priority, Zahid Maleque says

The 500,000 doses of the 1.1 million shots of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine sent by China as a goodwill gesture will be administered to the public initially, says Zahid Maleque.

Rest of the doses will be kept for the second jab of the inoculation course, the health minister said at the conference room of the health ministry in the Secretariat on Wednesday.

“Those who registered for the vaccine but are yet to receive the shot will be inoculated on a priority basis,” Maleque said.

“Besides, health workers, members of the police, students of public, private and dental colleges, government nursing and midwifery students, students of public university residential halls, staffers of important national projects, foreign-bound expatriate workers, cleaners of two Dhaka city corporations and workers of burial grounds will be given the vaccine,” the minister added.

“The Chinese and other foreign workers stationed in Bangladesh have applied for the vaccine and we are inoculating them.”

Ananya Salam Samata, a fifth-year student at Dhaka Medical College, makes a victory sign after receiving a shot of Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

Maleque said the government’s agreement with Russia about Sputnik-V is nearly done.

“We have almost reached an agreement. We are now waiting for their word on when and how much they will give.”

During a ceremony in Dhaka on Monday, Maleque said the countrywide mass vaccination campaign will resume on Jun 19.

The first shipment containing 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine reached Bangladesh on May 12, and the rest arrived on May 13.