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Bangladesh gets first shipment of single dose J&J vaccines

Bangladesh has received its first doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, with the arrival of 3,36,000 doses on Thursday.

The shipment of vaccine, sent by the United States under the COVAX programme, arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Thursday morning.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived in Bangladesh for the first time on Thursday, said Dr Shamsul Huque, chief of the Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS)’s Expanded Programme on Immunization. “They will be stored like the other vaccines.”

Dr Shamsul Huque said, “A special flight brought 3,36,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine this morning. The vaccine doses have arrived under COVAX programme. Preservation and transportation of this vaccine is easier. There is no problem with temperature control. Though two doses are needed to be injected regarding other vaccines, a single dose of this vaccine needs to be pushed.”

The J&J shot is the sixth Covid vaccine to arrive in Bangladesh. The others are the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. These vaccines have all been a part of the government’s nationwide immunisation efforts.

According to the DGHS, Bangladesh had administered the first COVID vaccine dose to 91.32 million people across the country as of Wednesday. The most commonly used vaccine for the first dose was the Sinopharm shot, 50.5 million of which were used.

The second was AstraZeneca, with 17.8 million doses, Pfizer with 15.5 million doses, Sinovac with 4.4 million doses, and Moderna with 2.8 million doses.

As of Wednesday, 57.6 million people received the second dose of the vaccine and more than 873,000 have received the third dose, which is also known as the booster dose.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque said at a meeting with deputy commissioners in Dhaka on Wednesday that the government had approximately 90 million vaccines in stock.