Bangladesh plans to vaccinate Rohingya against COVID: Official

Bangladesh plans to start rolling out inoculations against COVID-19 for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya living in crowded refugee camps next month, says a senior official.

“Subject to availability of the doses, we will begin administering the jabs among Rohingya anytime in August,” Shah Rezwan Hayat, chief of Bangladesh’s Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission, told DPA news agency on Friday.

No specific date has been fixed for the campaign, he said.

Initially, the focus is to be on some 50,000 Rohingya above the age of 55, to be vaccinated with the help of the United Nations agencies.

The other refugees will be vaccinated once sufficient doses are available, he said.

Bangladesh has been hosting more than a million Rohingya in sprawling camps in its southeastern district of Cox’s Bazar after they fled persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar.

Nearly 750,000 refugees crossed the border after the brutal military crackdown in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state in 2017, which the UN said was carried out with “genocidal intent”.