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Hasina’s ‘haseen’ birthday gift: Over 66 lakh inoculations in single day

Bangladesh on Tuesday administered over 66 lakh Covid vaccine doses, scripting a new record on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s birthday.

Though it was the first time that such a large number of people got the Covid shot in a single day, the special nationwide drive to mark Hasina’s 75th birthday fell short of its target of inoculating 75 lakh citizens.

Across eight divisions, 66,25,123 people were vaccinated, “which is a record number of jabs inoculated in Bangladesh in a single day”, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has said.

Mostly Chinese Sinopharm vaccine shots were given as the first dose — 65,69,782 people across Bangladesh were administered the jab on Tuesday.

In addition, 39,111 doses of the Oxford-AstraZenecca vaccine, 11,287 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 4 943 doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered under this special programme.

The vaccine jabs were administered from 9am at 6,000 centres at 4,600 unions and 433 wards of 1,054 municipalities and city corporations. In the first two hours, women above 50 years and physically challenged people received the jabs on priority basis.

However, in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) area, the special vaccination drive began around 2.30 pm, said Mohamamd Azam, Chief Executive Officer of Zone-2. “But the regular process to administer the jabs had been underway since morning.”

On the other hand, people living in the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) area had received the Covid jabs since morning, as per the scheduled programme.

As part of the special vaccination programme, the jabs were administered at 75 centres across 75 wards of DSCC.

The second dose under this special programme will be given on October 28.

So far, some 3,15,06,017 people have got their first Covid shot, while 1,66,33,735 were administered the second dose till September 28, according to the Health Ministry.

Bangladesh on August 7 kicked off its mass vaccination drive to inoculate some 35 lakh people in six days.