UNICEF has listed Bangladesh, Peru, Vietnam and the Philippines in the "Covid-19 Vaccine Success Stories" of their recent report, noting that Bangladesh's vaccination rate has risen sharply.
When the first consignment of Covid-19 vaccines supplied by COVAX touched down in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in June 2021, less than four per cent of all adults were fully vaccinated, said UNICEF.
However, within one and a half years, the number of vaccinated people has risen dramatically, says the UN agency, adding that by the beginning of April, 67 per cent of the population had received two doses.
Bangladesh has advanced eight notches to rank 5th out of 121 countries across the globe on Nikkei’s Covid-19 Recovery Index.
The other South Asian countries on the list-Nepal ranked 6th, Pakistan 23rd, Sri Lanka 31st, and India were 70th.
With a score of 80 on the index, Bangladesh ranked only below Qatar, the UAE, Cambodia and Rwanda in the latest edition of the index published recently.
COVAX has played a crucial role in that achievement. More than half of all the Covid-19 vaccines delivered to Bangladesh last year were through the programme, according to UNICEF.
Shah Ali Fahad, a former special assistant to the prime minister, while sharing his observation through a Facebook post, said, continuous diplomatic efforts to acquire a sufficient amount of vaccines through bilateral and multi-lateral sources as well as increase the capacity to restore vaccines properly are the three reasons that enabled Bangladesh to lead a mass vaccination drive successfully.
Young volunteers in Bangladesh have played an important role in making the vaccine drive successful, said UNICEF.
“They’ve been reaching out to communities with the message that Covid-19 vaccines are safe and available.”
Mukta is one of those volunteers who has been driven by a desire to help other people during the pandemic and so she joined UNICEF as a volunteer.
She used to go door to door, often talking to elderly people, families living in slums, and those who don’t have access to a mobile phone or the internet.
“I’ve seen so many vulnerable people,” says Mukta. “I enjoy going to people’s homes and raising awareness about vaccination. I love helping them.”