Bangladesh is now allowing students aged at least 18 to register for a vaccine shot against COVID-19 as part of the efforts to further expand the vaccination exercise in the country.
The authorities have added a new option to the Surukkha app to enable the students to register for the shot, which has been operational since Thursday, said Prof Mizanur Rahman, director of Management Information Centre in DGHS.
“The minimum age for ordinary people is at least 25 years or more, while for students, it has been brought down to 18 and above.”
One must write ‘student’ as their occupation in the registration form to be eligible for the vaccine, he said.
“Those who write student under the head ‘occupation’ can register. If not, they must come through their education institute.”
Currently, Bangladeshi nationals aged 25 or above can register to receive the coronavirus vaccine through the Surokkha portal.
Education institutes across Bangladesh have remained shut since March 2020 following the outbreak of the coronavirus infection.
The government has since extended the closure of schools and colleges multiple times with the pandemic ravaging the country.
All other offices and commercial institutes reopened on Aug 11 following a long lockdown restriction, but the education institutes are scheduled to remain shut until Aug 31.
In Bangladesh, registration is mandatory to receive a coronavirus vaccine shot. When the vaccination drive kicked off on Jan 26, only people aged 40 and above were allowed to register.
On Jul 5, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) lowered the age limit to a minimum 35 years for vaccine registration. Later, it was brought down to 30 years and then to 25 years.
Those who are on the priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine can get the shot irrespective of their age. Now, the students have been added to the priority list.
As of Aug 19, more than 33.9 million people have registered for the vaccine. Among them, 16.1 million received the first dose and 6.2 million are fully vaccinated.