Instead of Pfizer, Moderna Covid-19 vaccines will be used as the third or booster dose at vaccine centers across the country, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.
In a statement on Thursday, DGHS director Dr Shamsul Alam said the Pfizer vaccine will be reserved for use as the first and second doses for students in school and college (ages 12-17) and other people who have already received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The instruction was sent out to all directors of government medical colleges, the chief health officials at city colleges, government general hospitals, district central hospitals, hospitals with at least 250 beds, civil surgeons, upazila health and family welfare officials and medical officers of every municipality.
On December 28 last year, Bangladesh officially began the administration of booster doses of a Covid-19 vaccine but "on a limited scale". Initially, citizens aged above 60 received the booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Currently, Bangladesh is giving Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines for the first and second doses. The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group, however, has only recommended the use of Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca vaccines as boosters. According to the DGHS count, 540,526 people have received the booster dose so far. Most of them - 270,462 - got the Pfizer vaccine. Another 247,330 got the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and 22,734 got the Moderna vaccine.