Bangladesh lowers COVID vaccine age limit to 25

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The Bangladesh government is lowering the age limit to register for COVID-19 vaccinations to 25. Previously, the age limit was set at 30.

On Thursday, the registration page on the Surokkha app allowed regular citizens of age 25 or above to sign up for the shots.

The Directorate General of Health Services wants to lower the minimum age for registration to 18, said Dr ABM Khurshid Alam, the director-general of the agency.

“The ICT Division handles the Surokkha app,” he said. “We have told them to lower the minimum age to 18. They are doing so in stages. First, the minimum age was reduced from 40 to 35, then from 35 to 30. And now it has been reduced to 25. They say if the age limit was reduced to 18 in one go, it would create a lot of traffic, so they are lowering it slowly.”

Registration for the COVID vaccine began on Jan 26. At first only citizens 40 years of age or older were allowed to register for the shots. Then, on Jul 5, the minimum age was reduced to 35. On Jul 19, it was lowered once again to 30.

Only those at the minimum age are allowed to register to receive the vaccine. However, certain groups of people have no age limit imposed on their ability to register for the vaccine.

They include frontline and emergency service workers, members of certain professions, university students, and migrant workers.

On Jul 24, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said family members of frontline workers above the age of 18 would receive the vaccines.

As of Jul 28, 13,471,127 Bangladeshis have registered for the vaccines. The country has also administered the first dose to 8,270,422 people and the second dose to 4,322,327.