Bangladeshi authorities on Sunday began vaccinating workers from the export-oriented textile industry, the leading foreign exchange earner for Bangladesh, as the country struggles to contain a new wave of the coronavirus outbreak that has dented the economy.
The vaccination program began in textile hub Gazipur, near capital Dhaka, where around 10,000 workers were expected to vaccinated on the first day of the drive.
“Vaccination program for industrial workers has started today. Bangladesh will ensure vaccination for all workers and staffs,” said Gazipur administration Chief Tarikul Islam.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) welcomed the move. According to BGMEA vice-president Shahidullah Azim, “We already spoke to the health minister to give the workers priority as frontline people. Vaccination is better than lockdown. It is a good initiative.” He further added that all workers will get vaccinated in phases. The estimated figure is around 4 million and that the duration of the program will depend on the availability of the vaccine.
BGMEA member Hanifur Rahman Lotus said all workers 18 and above would be eligible for the vaccination. “We have been assured by the (health chief) of Gazipur that all 2.5 million workers of the area will be vaccinated. We expect the program will be extended in others areas soon,” he said.