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Free Covid-19 Vaccinations May Be Available In 2021

Source: Vientiane Times

Free Covid-19 vaccinations will be available for Lao people next year to provide protection against the potent virus while the threat of infection persists.

According to the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, the Ministry of Health last week, the vaccine is being made available by friendly countries.

Authorities plan to acquire the vaccine that has been developed in the United Kingdom, which has been shown to provide 95 percent protection against Covid-19.

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Under theUK’s health policy, vaccines to immunise 20 percent of the population will be provided free of charge while the Lao government will pay for the remainder.

If acquisition of the vaccine goes ahead, it will be given to volunteers who are medical workers, police working at border crossings, and other at-risk groups.

The vaccine will be imported by Pharmaceutical Factory No. 3, a state-owned enterprise.

Authorities are also considering acquiring the Covid-19 vaccine produced in Russia, and possibly vaccines from China, Germany, Japan and other countries, after they have been approved and certified by the World Health Organisation and other regulators.

The Department of Communicable Disease Control, Ministry of Health, says it is essential to vaccinate people as the pandemic is still a long way from being brought under control. With the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere the virus is likely to thrive in this area, while some countries are failing to stem the spread of the virus.

At present, only seven Covid patients remain in Vientiane’s Mittaphab Hospital following the discharge of two people on Friday. From January to July 17, a total of 8,297people were tested for Covid-19 and 41 were found to be infected with the virus. No deaths from the virus have been reported.

Laos has imposed uniform standards of self-monitoring and quarantine for the staff of international organisations, business executives, and ordinary workers. A 14-day period of self-monitoring is required for everyone entering Laos, even if they have no symptoms of Covid-19.