Source: Vientiane Times
The Ministry of Health of Laos plans to offer fourth doses of Covid-19 vaccines to healthcare workers and people at risk of serious illness starting next month, hoping to shield vulnerable groups from infection with the Omicron variant.
Booster shots will be used to ramp up levels of antibodies to the virus, which will reduce the risk of severe illness, according to the ministry’s Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion.
Fourth Covid-19 vaccinations will be offered to frontline workers, people with immunodeficiency or chronic disease, and people over the age of 60.
Additional vaccinations will also be rolled out in provinces that are heavily reliant on tourism or where infection rates are high.
The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines will be offered to people who received their third dose at least three months ago.
Second in line for a fourth vaccination will be police, officials working at border crossings, diplomats, and incoming workers.
The next group to get booster shots will be people working in crowded places such as banks, tourism-related businesses and factories, followed by the general public.
People who have already contracted Covid-19 can get a first, second or third vaccination two months after recovery.
A fourth dose will be given to people who had a first booster shot more than three months ago.
The AstraZeneca and Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines will be used for the first and second rounds of booster shots, with vaccinations to be rolled out as soon as possible before vaccines expire in March and April.
Health authorities are concerned that Omicron may spread throughout the country, especially among 12 to 17-year-olds because almost no one in this age group has had a first or second booster shot.
According to the Centre of Information and Education for Health, 75.72 percent of the eligible population have had a first dose of a Covid vaccine, 60.4 percent have had a second dose, and 16 percent have had three doses.