Bangladesh government to launch mass vaccination campaign at union level

Bangladesh will hold mass vaccinations in rural unions today. Originally scheduled for August 7-12, this vaccine drive was scaled back

Bangladesh government to launch mass vaccination campaign at union level

Photo: REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Bangladesh will hold mass vaccinations in rural unions today.

Originally scheduled for August 7-12, this vaccine drive was scaled back to today due to vaccine shortages. The current plan targets hard to reach rural areas and prioritizes vaccinating the elderly, women, and people with disabilities. Dhaka aims to vaccinate 300 people at each of its vaccination centers, totaling roughly 4 million doses administered.

Bangladesh currently faces its deadliest surge of COVID-19. In response, Dhaka extended its lockdown restrictions to August 7 to curb infection rates. Today’s vaccine drive was originally planned to speed up recovery by vaccinating 10 million citizens in hard to reach rural locales. Instead, it will reach less than half their goal, slowing the pace of recovery and reopening.

Today’s vaccine drive, while a major step in vaccinating the public, will most likely not be enough to ease the country’s COVID surge. Short-term, expect vaccine shortages to continue, further extending restrictions and delaying full economic recovery.  Medium to long-term, deaths will continue to rise due to the deadly Delta variant. However, economic recovery may pick up as global vaccinations rise and bring an increase in demand for Bangladeshi products, which are partially exempt from lockdown restrictions.

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