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Cholera vaccination drive in Dhaka from May first week

Bangladesh will start administering the oral cholera vaccine from the first week of May, Health Minister Zahid Maleque said on Friday.

And in the first phase, people from the five diarrhoea-prone areas in Dhaka will be vaccinated against the bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water.

The Minister made the announcement after visiting Government Titumir College in the city, which is holding the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) admission test.

He urged all people to get vaccinated against cholera “as after the initial stage, extensive vaccination against the disease will begin across the country”.

Responding to a poser, the Health Minister said that the country is gearing up for yearly inoculation of people against Covid-19.

“It is not confirmed yet if people need to be vaccinated every year against Covid, but we are preparing for the same. Measures have been taken to produce the vaccine in the country,” he said.

The Minister said that they would need 13 crore Covid jabs to vaccinate 13 crore people against Covid every year, “but the World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet taken a call on the same”.

“We have achieved success in Covid vaccination. Now all vaccines will be produced in the country,” he said.

Asked about the recent report of Transparency International Bangladesh on an alleged discrepancy of around Tk 23,000 crore in corona vaccine purchase and management, Maleque said, “I don’t know anything about it yet. A press conference will be held soon after looking into it.”

The Minister said a total of 65,905 students in 28 centres across the country are appearing for the public-private BDS admission test this year.

“The total number of seats are 1,950 this year. Of these, 545 are in government colleges. An average of 33 students are vying for one seat,” he added.