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Bangladesh perspective: Availability of Covid -19 and the realit

By Saifur Rahman Saif

When the United Kingdom and the United States of America are on the stair to say goodbye to the pandemic Covid- 19 with the beginning of rolling out of the first doses of widely tested and independently reviewed vaccine, Bangladesh is in uncertainty to have the vaccine.

The U.K termed the day of the first shot Covid 19 vaccine as the V-Day. 90 – year old recipient was grandmother Margaret Keenan. She is going to celebrate her 91st birthday shortly.

90 year-old Margaret Keenan, the first patient in the U.K. to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, administered by nurse May Parsons at University Hospital, Coventry, England, December 8, 2020, AP reported.

According to TIME, Just before 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Sandra Lindsay, an intensive care nurse at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Queens, New York, became one of the first people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The rest of the world is now on the way to start the beginning of the end of the pandemic Covid- 19, which has already claimed the lives of a total of 1.64 million people till December 16. But hopes to have the vaccine are seemed to be faded as availability of cold chain is far from the reach of Bangladesh, which mandatory for most of the Covid – 19 vaccines.

The jab was the highly anticipated start of what public health experts hope is a nationwide wave of vaccinations that will signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic. The news coincided with a dark new milestone for the country—more than 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, TIME reported.

Only one vaccine, from Pfizer-BioNTech, has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to begin shipping. Another vaccine, from Massachusetts-based biotech Moderna, is up for review later this week, the report continued.

December 8 and 14 will be penned as remarkable days in the book of the history for the United Kingdom and the United States of America as days of turning points of hopes of life, the first day of Covid -19 vaccination.

U.K. health authorities began rolling out the first doses of a widely tested and independently reviewed COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, starting a global immunization program that is expected to gain momentum as more serums win approval. The first shot came early in the morning at one of a network of hospital hubs around the country where the initial phase of the U.K. program will be rolled out on what has been dubbed `V-Day’, reported CBS News.

Being vaccinated Margaret Keenan was seemed to be excited and emotional. Keenan said she felt `so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19.’

`It’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year,’ she said, CBS News reported- `I think there’s every chance that we will look back on … (Tuesday) as marking a decisive turning point in the battle against coronavirus,’ said Simon Stevens, the CEO of England’s National Health Service.

`Taming of the flu: William Shakespeare becomes the second person to get Covid vaccine,’ quipped the headline from Britain’s Independent newspaper.

TIME reported – The jab was the highly anticipated start of what public health experts hope is a nationwide wave of vaccinations that will signal the beginning of the end of the pandemic. The news coincided with a dark new milestone for the country—more than 300,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.

Only one vaccine, from Pfizer-BioNTech, has received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to begin shipping. Another vaccine, from Massachusetts-based biotech Moderna, is up for review later this week, TIME stated in its report.

Referring to a high government official privatized news agency United News of Bangladesh recently reported that over Tk735 crore has been allocated to purchase this vaccine. The government will buy 30 million doses and the people will get it for free.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said during a press briefing at the secretariat on Monday afternoon, after the weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The UNB on December 3, released another report on the same issue, in which it stated that the vaccine expert said though the two American experimental vaccines look highly effective, those are unsuitable for Bangladesh due to temperature-related problems. `So, it’s true that Bangladesh’s vaccine fate will hang in balance if the AstraZeneca’s vaccine finally fails to get approval.’

In this situation, hope to have the Covid – 19 vaccine shortly is really faded.

Saifur Rahman Saif is a Bangladeshi journalist. He works at New Age, a popular newspaper.

He contributed a story in Freelance Success Stories published simultaneously from the USA and Canada. He can be reached at saifnewage@gmail.com.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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