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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh on Wednesday from her official residence Ganabhaban through video conferencing. The first shot of the Oxford-AstraZeneca developed vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII) was administered to Nurse Runu Veronica Costa of the Kurmitola General Hospital in Dhaka. Four more people including two doctors, a traffic police and an Army Brigadier received the vaccine at the hospital. 20-25 frontline health workers will also receive the vaccine today.

The people who received vaccines on Wednesday will be observed for a week before the nationwide vaccination programme is rolled out on February 7.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina thanked India for providing the consignment of vaccines including the first consignment of 20 lakh doses as a gift. Appreciating the role played by health workers, police personnel, armed forces and other people in the fight against Corona pandemic, Sheikh Hasina expressed the hope that the vaccination programme will mark the victory over the pandemic in Bangladesh. She said Bangladesh had set aside Tk 1000 crore for the vaccine from wherever it could be procured first. 

Speaking on the occasion, Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque pointed out that Bangladesh has been successful in keeping the Corona infection rate below 4 per cent for the last few days. The death rate due to corona has also been among the lowest in the world, said the Minister. He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and people of India for providing the vaccine quickly to Bangladesh. 

He said more than 42 thousand people have been put on duty to run the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme. The IT Ministry of Bangladesh has developed an app to register people for the vaccination programme.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the parliament that in the first phase of vaccine distribution, 1.5 crore people will get two doses of the vaccine each. She said Bangladesh will get 6.80 crore vaccines from the WHO, COVAX facility.
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