As the mass vaccination of school children aged between 12 and 17 years was launched today in Dhaka, we learned that "Vax" has been chosen as the word of the year of 2021 at the Oxford English Dictionary (OED).

Words related to vaccines have spiked in frequency in 2021 due to Covid, with double-vaxxed, unvaxxed and anti-vaxxer all seeing a surge in use, according to the BBC.

However, vax was an obvious choice as it has made "the most striking impact", BBC reported quoting OED senior editor Fiona McPherson.

"It goes back at least to the 1980s, but according to our corpus it was rarely used until this year," she said.

Meanwhile the mass vaccination of school children was inaugurated at the Ideal School and College at Motijheel in the capital at about 9.30am by Health Minister Zahid Maleque and Education Minister Dipu Moni under a plan to start administering the vaccine in eight schools in a day or two.

The Pfizer vaccine will be administered among school children as it was approved by the World Health Organisation for children.

School children will get vaccinated after completing registration in two phases through their respective school and the parents using Surokkha app.

Schools will send the lists of the 12 to 17 year old students incorporating their birth registration numbers to the ICT division of the government through their respective education department. The ICT division will load the data of the potential school children on the Surokkha app.

Parents will be required to complete the registration by accessing the Surokkha app using the birth registration data of children. They will also require taking a print of the vaccine card which they need to produce at the designated vaccination centres.

Students will require carrying print copies of their birth registration card and vaccine card for getting the vaccine.

The DGHS will deploy physicians in the schools where centres will be installed for monitoring the campaign and providing urgent services.

The eight schools, which were initially selected by the education authorities to set up vaccination centres for school students in the capital, are Ideal School and College in Motijheel, South Point School and College in Malibagh, Kakoli High School and College at Dhanmondi, Dhaka Commerce College in Mirpur, Scholastica in Mirpur, Chattogram Grammar School in Gulshan, Hurdco International School in Bashundhara, South Breeze School in Uttara and Scholastica in Mirpur.

These eight schools will serve as vaccination centres for a cluster of schools in their respective localities.

About 25 booths will be installed in each school to initially administer four to five thousand doses of the vaccine among school children.

Easier for children

Vax and vaxx are both accepted spellings but the form with one x is more common, BBC reports.

Oxford English Dictionary definitions for vax:

--vax n. A vaccine or vaccination

--vax v. Treat (someone) with a vaccine to produce immunity against a disease; vaccinate

--vaxxie n. A photograph of oneself taking during or immediately before or after a vaccination, especially one against Covid-19, and typically shared on social media; a vaccination selfie

--anti-vax adj. Opposed to vaccination

--anti-vaxxer n. A person who is opposed to vaccination double-vaxxed adj. Having received two doses of a vaccine

Use of the word pandemic has also increased by more than 57,000 percent this year.

This year's Oxford-winning word, vax, was first recorded in English in 1799, while its derivatives vaccinate and vaccination both first appear in 1800.

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