Bangladesh has sought the approval of World Health Organization (WHO) for jabbing those aged between 12 and 17 years against coronavirus. Inoculation will soon begin once WHO say yes.
Minister for Health and Family Affairs Zahid Maleque made the remarks while responding to questions from reporters after a cabinet meeting at the Secretariat on Monday.
"We have already appealed to WHO to decide on this matter. If they finalize, we can start working and we are waiting for that now", he added.
He said, "The Prime Minister's directive is to vaccinate everyone possible, even 12 to 18 years olds. But we have to get the approval of WHO along with the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19."
Referring to the huge number of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17, the minister said, "We have to have the number of vaccines available according to their number. We are working on make those available and we will be able to provide them with the doses only with the approval of WHO."
He also asserted some countries are jabbing teenagers from 12 years and above. "It has been approved in 22 countries. But WHO has not yet formally approved it. The countries have begun it according to their own management and orders."
When asked which vaccines are to be provided to these teens, Zahid Maleque said, "The mentioned countries have set to inoculate those between 12 and 17 years with Pfizer and Moderna. We will accept WHO's guideline in this regard."
"There was a meeting yesterday where it was decided to open the school-college. Teachers have already been vaccinated, many students as well. We have completed the vaccination of teachers and students of the medical college.", he further said.
The vaccination drive will accelerate from this month, the minister said adding, "We are to receive about 2.5 crore doses this month which we will be provided to different stages across the country."