Bangladesh on Tuesday morning officially began the administration of booster doses of a Covid-19 vaccine but "on a limited scale".

From 10am, a few hospitals in Dhaka started the administration of the third Covid-19 jab -- the Pfizer vaccine -- as a booster dose, Dr Shamsul Haq, the director of the Directorate General of Health Services' (DGHS) vaccination programme, told UNB.

These hospitals in the capital are Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), Kurmitola General Hospital, Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Shaikh Hasina National Institute of Burn and Plastic Surgery, 250-bed TB Hospital in Shyamoli, Kuwait Bangladesh Friendship Hospital and Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College and Hospital.

Dr Shamsul said that initially citizens aged above 60 will receive the booster doses. "Already registered members on Surokkha app who received two doses of a Covid jab will get SMSes to receive the booster dose. After that, people will get the jabs from the centers showing their vaccine cards."

Dr Shamsul said all the hospitals have been sent letters to start administering the Covid booster shots. "Those who are prepared will start administering from Tuesday, others will begin in a day or two."

Since last Sunday, the government has been giving the booster jabs experimentally.

The Pfizer vaccine will be used for the purpose, at least to start with, said Health Secretary Lokman Hossain Miah on Monday. "There wi be no shortage of vaccines."

Lokman Hossain said that Bangladesh has already secured purchases and donations of 31 to 32 crore doses of Covid vaccines, out of which 15 crore have already arrived.

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