DHAKA, Bangladesh 

Bangladesh on Tuesday started giving a second dose of coronavirus vaccine for over 5 million people who were vaccinated last month under a special drive.

The South Asian delta nation of nearly 165 million people held the week-long special vaccination campaign on Aug. 7-12 in a bid to inoculate people with little or no education without pre-registration, but just showing their identity cards.

According to a government decision taken on Monday, the massive vaccination drive for the second shot will be held on Sept. 7-9.

Amid slow improvement of the pandemic situation, Bangladesh has so far recorded nearly 26,700 fatalities with more than 1.5 million cases and over 1.4 million recoveries.

Some 28.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been served in the country while nearly 9 million people have received two doses. More than two-third people are still waiting for the second dose.

According to official figures, more than 39.4 million people have applied for coronavirus vaccines. Over 10 million people are still waiting for their first dose after registration.

Health Minister Zahid Maleque, however, assured Monday that there will be no vaccine shortage to inoculate all people across the country soon.

He said Dhaka will receive 25 million doses in September – 20 million from China and 5 million from COVAX, a WHO-led global vaccine-sharing facility.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pledged to inoculate all people in Bangladesh while Maleque assured of getting 160 million shots in September-January to cover at least 80% of population.

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