Inside Health

Pfizer and BioNTech launch trial of Omicron-targeted Covid vaccine

Publish: 09:18 AM, 26 Jan, 2022


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Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Tuesday they started a clinical trial to test a new version of their vaccine specifically designed to target the Covid-19 Omicron variant, which has eluded some of the protection provided by the original two-dose vaccine regimen.

Banking on volunteers in the United States, the companies plan to test the immune response generated by the Omicron-based vaccine both as a three-shot regimen in unvaccinated people and as a booster shot for people who already received two doses of their original vaccine.

They are also testing a fourth dose of the current vaccine against a fourth dose of the Omicron-based vaccine in people who received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine three to six months earlier.

The companies plan to study the safety and tolerability of the shots in the more than 1,400 people who will be enrolled in the trial.

"While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalization with Omicron, we recognize the need to be prepared in the event this protection wanes over time and to potentially help address Omicron and new variants in the future," Pfizer's head of vaccine research and development, Kathrin Jansen, said in a statement.

Depending on the amount of clinical trial data required by regulators, it may not be possible to realize a current plan to launch an Omicron-targeting vaccine by the end of March, BioNTech said.

Pfizer has said that two doses of the original vaccine may not be sufficient to protect against infection from Omicron, and that protection against hospitalizations and deaths may be waning.

Still, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a third dose of an mRNA vaccine like the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has provided 90% protection against hospitalization due to Covid-19.

Some countries have already started offering additional booster doses, but a recent study from Israel showed that while a fourth dose of an mRNA vaccine boosted antibodies, the level was not high enough to prevent Omicron infection.

DATA The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday that international regulators want data from clinical studies like the one being done by Pfizer and BioNTech before approval of a new vaccine.

EMA said these studies should show that the new vaccines elicit more neutralising antibodies in the blood than current vaccines and might also protect against new variants of concern.

BioNTech declined to comment on what type of data it was asked to file with regulators.

It said an analysis of antibodies elicited by its Omicron-targeted booster should help answer whether shots will be needed that address more than one variant at a time. It hopes to show the antibodies neutralise a spectrum of variants.

Still, some scientists question whether any change is currently needed.

"The goal of this vaccine is to protect against serious illness," said Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania. "To date, these vaccines do that, including protection against Omicron."


Vaccine   Omicron   Coronavirus  


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Inside Health

1,35,51,950 people have received booster doses in the country

Publish: 03:58 PM, 15 May, 2022


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1,35,51,950 people have been given booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country so far. 

This information is obtained from the press release sent by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) on Sunday.

According to the press release, 12,86,67,045 people have received the first dose of the vaccine since the onset of the vaccination campaign in the country. Besides, 11,68,63,440 people have been given the second dose.

The press release said in the last 24 hours (Saturday), the first dose was given to 7,060 people across the country and the second dose was given to 49,000 people. Besides, 97,704 people have been given booster doses at this time — these are being given by Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.   

Vaccination of 12-17-year-old students started in Bangladesh on November 1. Among these, 1,73,21,442 students were given the first dose and 1,59,02,513 students were given the second dose. 

The DGHS says 2,18,701 floating people, so far, have come under the vaccination in the country. They have been vaccinated with a single dose of Johnson & Johnson. 

Noted that the registration of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country started on January 27. Vaccination activities started on February 7. Anyone over the age of 18 can now get vaccinated.


Bangladesh   Vaccination   Booster Dose   Covid-19   Coronavirus  


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Inside Health

1 crore 30 lakh people received booster dose

Publish: 01:14 PM, 09 May, 2022


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One crore 30 lakh 10 thousand 85 people have so far received booster dose in the country to prevent coronavirus infection. 12 crore 85 lakh 94 thousand 285 people have taken the first dose of vaccine since the beginning of vaccination program in the country. Besides, 11 crore 65 lakh 56 thousand 462 people have come under two dose vaccination.

This information is known from a press release regarding corona vaccination sent from the Department of Health. It was signed by Prof. Dr. Mizanur Rahman, Director and Line Director, Management Information Branch (MIS) of the department.

It said that in the last 24 hours (Sunday), the first dose was given to 7,796 people across the country and the second dose was given to 49,803 people. Also, booster doses have been given to 89,010 people at this time. Oxford-Astrageneca, Synoform, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are used in the vaccination program in the country.

Vaccination activities for 12-17-year-old students started in Bangladesh from last 1st November. So far 1 crore 73 lakh 20 thousand 942 of them have been vaccinated with the first dose. The second dose has been given to one crore 58 lakh 98 thousand 483 people.

According to the department, 21 lakh 7 thousand 160 floating people have come under the vaccine in the country so far. They have been vaccinated with a single dose of Johnson & Johnson.

Registration of corona vaccine in the country started on January 27. Vaccination activities started from 7th February. Anyone over the age of 18 can now get vaccinated.


Coronavirus   Vaccination   Bangladesh  


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Inside Health

Dental college admission test result published

Publish: 03:28 PM, 24 Apr, 2022


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The result of Bangladesh Dental Surgeons (BDS) admission test under the session 2021-22 was published on Sunday. 

A total of 39,395 students passed the examination. Of them, 13,749 are male students and 25,646 are female students.  

The pass rate is 59.77 percent.

Bangladesh Medical and Dental Council President Professor Dr Mahmud Hasan announced the result at the old building of Health Directorate in the capital’s Mohakhali at 2pm.

However, a student named Nasrin Sultana Eva secured the first position in the examination.

It is to be noted that 65,907 examinees applied for the examination.


Dental college admission   Result Published  


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Inside Health

1 crore 5 lakh got booster dose in the country

Publish: 11:29 AM, 10 Apr, 2022


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The number of people taking booster doses in the country to prevent coronavirus infection is now 1 crore 5 lakh 68 thousand 900 people.

This information is given in a press release on vaccination signed by the Director and Line Director of the Management Information Branch (MIS) of the Department of Health, Prof. Dr. Mizanur Rahman.

It has been said that 12 crore 81 lakh 86 thousand 131 people have come under the first dose of vaccine since the beginning of vaccination program in the country. Besides, 11 crore 48 lakh 86 thousand 26 people have received two doses of vaccine. Oxford-AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are given to people.

Vaccination activities for 12-17-year-old students started from November 1 in the country. 1 crore 72 lakh 90 thousand 893 of them have been given first dose till now. The second dose has been given to 1 crore 57 lakh 38 thousand 365 people.

Meanwhile, on Saturday (April 9), the first dose of vaccine was given to 2,163 students across the country. The second dose was given to 15,419 people.

According to the department, 2 lakh 12 thousand 256 floating people in the country have come under the vaccine so far. They have been vaccinated with one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

The registration of corona vaccine in the country started on January 27 last year. Vaccination activities started from 7th February.


Covid-19   Coronavirus   Vaccination   Bangladesh   Booster Dose  


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Inside Health

‘Bangladesh at high risk of HIV infection’

Publish: 02:47 PM, 03 Apr, 2022


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Sixteen-year-old Raihan (not real name) used to live in the city's Mohammadpur area. He is reading in class X. His father is a businessman by profession. But, Raihan becomes addicted. He used to take drugs through veins. Later, he was diagnosed with Aids.

According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Bangladesh has, so far, around 14,000 patients of AIDS, the most advanced stage of HIV infection. Though the number is low, the country is at high risk because of neighbouring countries which have higher transmission rates and easy access to drugs.

Of them, around 84 percent came under treatment. The disease, however, claimed 205 lives in 2020, taking the total death toll to 1,588.

Bangladesh first detected HIV positive case in 1989. The first AIDS patient is still alive and physically sound. He regularly communicates with the HIV treatment programme.

According to a report of UNICEF, published on November 29 last year, about 3.60 lakh adolescents are projected to die of Aids-related diseases across the world between 2018 and 2030. About 76 teenagers are projected to die every day if any additional allocation is made in preventing HIV, screening and treatment project. Currently, two adolescents are being infected by HIV in every two minutes.

The UNICEF urged all concerned to strength different programmes including treatment and prevention to reduce infection and death rate of adolescent.

The report titled 'Child, HIV & AIDS: World of 2030' said 270,000 children and adolescents are projected to become newly infected with the virus annually. But the number of death of adolescent will be reduced. 56,000 children and adolescents are projected to die from AIDS-related causes annually.

It said the number of newly infected children will be reduced by 2030. But the rate of newly infected HIV adolescent between 10 years and 19 years will be reduced on 29 percent. And the death rate under 14 years of old children will be reduced 57 percent.

According to the latest statistics, a large portion of the total AIDS patients in Bangladesh are Rohingya population. The officials concerned laid emphasis on screening at the country's all air, sea, and land ports to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

They said India and Myanmar have different communications with the businesses and common people of Bangladesh. So, awareness should be raised among the citizens besides the government and non-government initiatives to this end.

Assistant Professor of Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, Dhaka virologist Dr Zahidur Rahman said, "Bangladesh is a country of low prevalence in case of HIV infection. But it is at risk for various reasons. We have borders with two countries (India and Myanmar). Both are at high risk. There are also a few lakh Rohingyas in the country."

Mentioning people coming to Bangladesh from the two neighbouring countries, he said it is urgent to launch HIV screening tests at air, sea and land ports.

"This test will not cost much, and it may take 10 minutes to conduct the same by kit. The United Nations have huge idle money which we can use for HIV screening," he added.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), around 28.05 percent of women are not informed about AIDS but 71.05 percent are aware of at least one carrier of the disease. The awareness rate among the women about all the spreaders rose to 36 percent, 7 percent more than that of 2016.

The government agency thinks the risk of AIDS transmission among women is rising as the awareness did not grow at the desired level.

The data provided by the National AIDS/STD Control (NASC) Programme of the Directorate General of Health Services said a total of 12,91,069 samples were tested from November 2020 to November 2021 to detect HIV/AIDS. The same was around 13,32,589 in the previous year. Out of the newly 729 HIV-infected people in last year, men are 420, women 210, transgenders 12.

Of them, Rohingyas are 188 (account for 26%), common people 186 (26%), abroad returnees and their families 144 (20%), people who take drugs through injection 61 (8%), female sex workers 17 (2%), homosexuals 67 (9%), male sex workers 53 (7%) and transgenders 12 (2%), the data showed.


HIV   AIDS   Bangladesh  


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