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Bangladesh plans to lower vaccination age to 18 years

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2021-07-15 17:32:28 BdST

A health worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on Monday, Jun 21, 2021. Photo: Mahmud Zaman Ovi

The government plans to allow people 18 years old or above to register for the COVID-19 vaccine jabs, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Thursday.

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

"We are thinking whether we could reduce the minimum age for vaccination. The matter has also been discussed with the prime minister. She recommended this too,” Maleque said while inaugurating a project of ICU extension and OPD development programme at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. “Our technical committee has also asked us if the vaccines could be delivered to 18-year-old people.”

"We want to send our boys and girls 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. We will enable them to attend schools and colleges, because a year of their academic life has already been wasted. It will be a great loss to the country and our nation,” Maleque said.

Registration for the COVID-19 vaccination began in Bangladesh in January. Initially, people who were 40 years old or older were eligible for vaccination. On July 5, the Directorate General of Health Services lowered the vaccination age to 35 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.