The second dose of the vaccine for 13 lakh people is uncertain
The government has decided to stop giving the first dose of vaccine. The vaccination of the second dose of 13 lakh people who took the first dose has also become uncertain. With this, the vaccination program seems to be a bit random in the first three and a half months of mass vaccination in the country to combat the corona infection.
Observers and public health experts believe that the stockpile of vaccines from India has been depleted and imports and procurement have become uncertain. They say the government has shown too much reliance on India for vaccination. The government was less concerned about alternative sources. There is also a lack of planning for vaccine use. Although the risk of getting a low dose of the second dose was detected long ago, the government decided to stop the first dose late.
The Department of Health said the first dose of vaccine would be discontinued across the country from Monday. The expanded vaccination program yesterday afternoon sent a letter to all civil surgeons, health officials of all city corporations and all upazila health and family planning officers asking them to temporarily stop vaccinating the first dose. Not everyone who has registered so far will get the first dose of the vaccine. However, no decision has been made to stop the registration, said the spokesman of the Department of Health. Nazmul Islam.
The potential crisis in vaccine production and supply has been under discussion since before the global use of vaccines to combat the epidemic began. Sayedur Rahman, chairman of the pharmacology department of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told Prothom Alo about the latest vaccination situation in Bangladesh. In this case, there is going to be a big deviation in Bangladesh. Hundreds of thousands of people will be deprived if they do not get the second dose of vaccine.
According to the information sent to the media by the Department of Health yesterday evening, a total of 61 lakh 45 thousand 28 doses of vaccines have been given to the first and second vaccines. The department has 21 lakh 54 thousand 734 dose vaccines in stock. The second dose will not be given to 13 lakh 38 thousand 600 people unless the new Oxford ticker is imported.
Abul Basar Mohammad Khurshid Alam, director general of the health department, told reporters that one lakh Pfizer vaccines would be available from Covax in the first week of next month. Apart from this, the Department of Health hopes that the deficit of Rs 2 million in the second dose will also be met.
However, diplomatic sources in Bangladesh and India said on Sunday that they were not sure when the next shipment of the Oxford vaccine would come from the Seram Institute of India.
Deficit in planning
Covishield vaccine, developed by scientists at Oxford University in the United Kingdom and produced at the Seram Institute in India, is being used in Bangladesh. Scientists say that the second dose is given 12 weeks after the first dose and the maximum effectiveness of the vaccine has been observed. But Bangladesh did not take cognizance of 12 weeks in the beginning.
Mass vaccination in the country started on 6 February. Earlier in the day, officials told a news conference at the health department on February 8 that a second dose would be given four weeks later to facilitate the implementation of the vaccination program.
A few days later the Department of Health withdrew from the four-week deadline between the two doses. The second dose is prescribed eight weeks later. As such, the second dose of vaccine started from April 6. The first dose is given at the same time.
In the meantime, 58 lakh 18 thousand 400 people have been vaccinated with the first dose. Among them 23 lakh 26 thousand 7 people have taken the second dose. More than 1.4 million registered people are currently out of the vaccine as the first dose has been stopped from today. And the second dose of 13 lakh 37 thousand 600 people has become uncertain.
Complications with dosage
Discussions have started among the people about what will happen if the second dose is not received on time, whether there will be any problem if the first and second doses are vaccinated by the two companies.
An official of the expanded vaccination program told Prothom Alo yesterday afternoon that the second dose was being given eight weeks later. If the second dose is given after 12 weeks, there is no harm without gain. So the government will go on the path of profit. Then Bangladesh will get an extra month to collect the vaccine.
Due to untimely arrival of vaccines from India, various doubts and questions are being raised among the general public and government officials. If the government imports vaccines from Russia or China, can those vaccines be used as a second dose? There are two types of problems. First, scientists and health officials in Bangladesh do not yet have any global research on the benefits and side effects of the two companies’ two doses of the vaccine. Professor Sayedur Rahman said, ‘There are no tested results in this regard. So giving two doses to two companies is risky. ‘
The recipient is being given a certificate after receiving two doses of the vaccine. The certificate mentions which organization has been vaccinated. This certificate is becoming a necessary document for international travel. In that case, it is not yet clear how much international acceptance will be given if two doses are given by two organizations.
The other thing is trust. If the second dose is not received on time or the two doses are not from the same company, there is a risk of cracking people’s confidence. Professor Bay-Nazir Ahmed, a former director of the Department of Public Health and Disease Control at the Department of Health, told Prothom Alo: And those who did not get the second dose will be upset.