Director of Department of Livestock Services (DLS) will launch the bird flu vaccine programme experimentally on November 20 to check the fatal virus from infecting the local poultry industry, said officials.
The immunisation programme will be launched by the minister of Fisheries and Livestock Abdul Latif Biswas in Gazipur district, the sources said.
"The preparations related to the vaccination inaugural programme is now almost complete and we are waiting to start the preventive activities within a week," said Director of Department of Livestock Services (DLS) Musaddique Hossain.
The vaccination will begin experimentally in Gazipur district and partly in one poultry hatchery and five farms in Kishorganj in Dhaka division, said Mr Hossain, also head of a seven-member expert committee on bird flu immunization programme.
He said, poultry producers can afford the vaccine cost varying between Tk 1.80 and Tk 5.0 for each poultry bird.
The DLS director, however, said the farmers and the consumers are interested to save themselves from the deadly bird flu or H5N1 virus, so even if the cost of a vaccine is Tk 10 per chicken, there will be no objection from them.
In September last week, drug regulatory authority allowed three renowned drug companies to import avian influenza vaccine from the US, the Netherlands and China.
"If we get a positive result, we will apply the medicine across the country," said Mr Hossain.
Meanwhile, the number of farms has come down to 60,824 from 114,763 over the last two years following the spread of bird flu, showed a study revealed by Bangladesh Poultry Khamar Rakkha Jatiya Parishad.
Poultry farmers repeatedly demanded that the authorities concerned allow vaccine against the influenza as it spread epidemically in the country and destroyed millions of chickens in the last six years.
Earlier, an expert committee was formed in June last to make a study over introducing bird flu vaccine to minimise the avian influenza situation in the poultry farms across the country.
The DLS officials said they have brought those poultry farms under the immunisation plan that are maintaining bio security measures.
Bird flu preventive medicine will not be sold commercially and it will be controlled by the DLS, they also said.
The DLS will examine vaccinated poultry birds each week to confirm the effectiveness of the medicine and if any negative impact is detected it will take necessary steps immediately, they said.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association (BPIA) Joint Secretary General Khandokar Mohsin said it is a very good decision of the government to rescue the poultry sector from being ruined.
Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association Secretary General and Virologist Monjur Murshed Khan said minimum 21 days are necessary after vaccination to grow immunity in poultry body.
"So it would be good if the authority starts vaccination some days before as the diseases has already started to spread," he also added
Bird flu or H5N1 virus first broke out in the country in 2007 when more than a million chickens were culled and thousands of small farms were closed as the flu ravaged the industry for more than six months.