More than 110,000 Rohingya children and adolescents living in the camps in Cox’s Bazar have received their first jab against COVID-19, said the UN refugee agency on June 12. They have been vaccinated as part of the National Vaccination Plan from the government of Bangladesh with support of UNHCR, WHO, UNICEF and other humanitarian partners.
“Bangladesh is one of the first countries worldwide to vaccinate refugee children and adolescents,” said Johannes Van Der Klaauw, UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh. This milestone is the result of an exemplary policy from the Bangladesh government to include refugees in the vaccination plans, and the highly commendable efforts of health officials, humanitarian partners and Rohingya volunteers who have made the inoculation possible and timely,” Klaauw said.
More than half of the Rohingyas living in the camps in Bangladesh are children. Including them in the national vaccination drive is key to keep everyone safe. In just a week almost 100 per cent of the targeted population between 12 and 17 years of age were vaccinated, as a result of an effective vaccination drive led by the Bangladesh’s authorities with support from UNHCR, other UN agencies and humanitarian partners, and the refugee volunteers. Overall, almost 500,000 Rohingyas have now received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, reflecting 90 per cent coverage of the eligible target age groups (12-17, and 18+).
Immunisations are the key to reduce the incidence of serious cases of COVID infections. The second round of vaccinations for children and adolescents aged 12 years and older will take place after the Eid holidays, pending confirmation by the government of Bangladesh.