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    Bangladesh expands Covid-19 vaccination to citizens over 35

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    Special registration for expatriate workers begins

    The government has expanded the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign by reducing the minimum age for registration to 35, following the arrival of shipments of the Modena and Sinopharm vaccines.

    The decision was taken during a meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Sunday, Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) Director General ABM Khurshid Alam told Dhaka Tribune on Monday.

    The government began the vaccination campaign on February 7 with a minimum age for registration of 55. Subsequently, the minimum age had been reduced to 40.

    Now, citizens aged 35 and above will be able to sign up for vaccines using the government website, surokkha.gov.bd.
    The DGHS halted Covid-19 vaccine registration in the last week of April due to a shortage of doses. Since then, only medical and dental students, university students, law enforcement officials, and migrant workers have been able to register for vaccination.

    Special registration for expatriate workers begins

    The Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment inaugurated special vaccine registration for expatriate workers on Monday.

    To avail the vaccine, expatriate workers must first register through the “Ami Probashi” app for identity verification. They can then register with the Surokkha website under the “registration (passport)” category.

    Only expatriate workers travelling to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, due to guidelines issued by the two countries. As a result, workers travelling to the two countries must be vaccinated at one of seven centres in Dhaka: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (BSMMU), Dhaka Medical College (DMC), Sir Salimullah Medical College (SSMC), Mugda Medical College and Hospital, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital, Sheikh Russel National Gastroliver Institute & Hospital, and Kurmitola General Hospital.
    Expatriate workers travelling to other countries may avail the Sinopharm vaccine from any vaccination centre across the country.

    The ministry has urged expatriates to leave the country only after completing both doses of the vaccine.

    Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmed said: “Vaccine policies vary from country to country, and we cannot influence them. It is our suggestion that expatriate workers leave the country after completing both doses, as we cannot ensure that they will receive the second dose of a particular vaccine on arriving at their destination.”

    However, Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Secretary Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen informed that expatriate workers travelling to Saudi Arabia can fly 14 days after taking the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

    After that, they are required to register with the Saudi national vaccination app “Sehhaty” to get the second dose of vaccine there.

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