Source: Vientiane Times
A total of 99.67 percent of people living in areas of the country designated by the government as Tourism Green Zones have been vaccinated against Covid, a study undertaken by the Ministry of Health and UNICEF has revealed.
Deputy Minister of Health Dr Snong Thongsna and UNICEF Representative to Laos, Dr Pia Rebello Britto, co-chaired a media briefing on the results of the survey on vaccination coverage in the designated travel zones, which comprise Vientiane, Vientiane province, and Luang Prabang province.
The survey, which was conducted between January and March this year, found that vaccination coverage in these areas was high, reaching almost 100 percent in the places allocated by the government for tourist travel.
The report also noted that residents in these areas displayed a high level of knowledge about Covid prevention measures.
Participants interviewed in the survey mentioned common virus preventive practices such as avoiding shaking hands (85 percent), wearing a mask (58.9 percent), washing hands more often (18.2 percent), and avoiding alcohol consumption (16.5 percent).
Dr Snong said the survey results suggests that the government is on the right track to reaching its objective and the path towards recovery and reopening of the country.
Laos’ economic recovery is dependent on policies that support businesses and households to adapt to the new normal. To achieve this, 100 percent Covid vaccination coverage must be achieved, he added.
The survey results demonstrate the success of the vaccination campaign and confirm that the government’s strategy and investment work.
“This success would not have been possible without the support of our development partners, especially through their contribution of vaccines via the COVAX Facility and support of the communication campaign on vaccination in all 18 provinces of Laos,” Dr Snong said.
Dr Britto noted that the meeting coincides with World Immunisation Week, which is celebrated in the last week of every April and is aimed at highlighting the life-saving power of vaccines.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind us not only of the importance of Covid-19 vaccination, but also of childhood immunisation in saving lives. We must ensure that our efforts in vaccinating the population against Covid-19 do not come at the expense of routine childhood immunisation.”
The survey also reveals the key sources of information on Covid for participants, with the majority (85 percent) saying they got information primarily through Facebook, while 78.7 percent received Covid messages from their workplace/colleagues, and 41.3 percent got their news from village loudspeakers.