Ease registration pressure for vaccines by raising capacity of the App16 July 2021
Following a two-month break, Bangladesh resumed mass registration for Covid-19 vaccination in the first week of July in the wake of an alarming spike in the global pandemic. Amid the resurgence of the virus in July with an average of 200 daily deaths of late, people are desperately seeking to get vaccines, putting the registration system under pressure. All citizens aged 35 and above can apply for the vaccine. Previously, the minimum age was 40.
More than 10 million vaccine jabs, including first and second doses, have been administered in the country of over 166 million people. Bangladesh started a pilot vaccination programme on January 27 this year and a nationwide programme on February 7 by administering Covishield, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. On April 25 however the government had to suspend the first dose of the vaccine campaign, a day after India stopped exporting the vaccine due to a record-breaking surge in cases and deaths there. In the first week of May, Bangladesh postponed registration for vaccination due to the shortage of vaccine supply.
Dhaka managed to get just 7 million doses, out of 30 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine it signed a deal for, in two installments although India gifted 3.2 million doses as a sign of friendship. People can register for vaccines through a government-approved App Surokkha. Bangladesh now will administer the Chinese Sinopharm and US Moderna vaccines. China has gifted Bangladesh with 1.1 million vaccines while Dhaka has already purchased 2 million more from Beijing.
The registration pressure on the Surokkha App should be eased by increasing its capacity along with the website. Earlier our people were rightly motivated for vaccination as vaccines were not available. Now when the people are desperate to get vaccinated the government machinery is not ready to provide the services and cope with the rush. The government should invoke the services of social organisations and the students.