Bangladesh to lower vaccine eligibility age to 18: DGHS

The minimum age of eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine jab in Bangladesh will be lowered to 18, according to the Director General of Health Services Khurshid Alam.

However, it is still unclear when the change would come into effect but the authorities will start working on it soon, he told reporters while visiting Mugda General Hospital on Friday.

“The health minister has informed me about it (lowering the age of eligibility) this morning. We will discuss it in our committee and see how it can be implemented.”

The plan to allow people 18 years old or above to register for the COVID-19 vaccine jabs was revealed by Health Minister Zahid Maleque last week.

Currently, people, aged at least 35 years or younger belonging to special categories, are eligible for the vaccines.

"We want to send our boys and girls back to schools and colleges soon. We have been administering the vaccine doses to the teachers. Now, we will bring under vaccination those who are at least 18 years old," Maleque had said.

Registration for the COVID-19 vaccination began in Bangladesh in January. Initially, people who were 55 years old or older were eligible for vaccination. The Directorate General of Health Services later lowered the vaccination age to 30 years.

People involved in COVID-19 emergency services, workers from a number of occupations, university students and migrant workers were able to register for vaccination, regardless of their age.