Source: Vientiane Times
The government is speeding up the Covid-19 vaccination programme as it now has enough vaccines for 760,000 people, while waiting for the next delivery to arrive.
The next shipment is expected to arrive in June or July, according to Dr Chansay Phathammavong from the Mother and Child Health Centre.
The government wants to ensure that 50 percent of the population is inoculated by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by the end of 2022.
The current stock of more than 1.53 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine is enough for 760,000 people, or 10.3 percent of the total population.
As of May 26, more than 639,870 people have received a first dose of the vaccine, while 174,212 people have received a second dose, according to the Centre of Information and Education for Health.
“In Vientiane, we have finished administering first doses and are now rolling out the second round of jabs,” Dr Chansay said.
She recently responded to a Facebook post by the Centre of Information and Education for Health, saying that the vaccines are safe and essential to contain the spread of the virus.
“Vientiane residents should not worry about vaccine supplies running out because the next shipment is expected to arrive in June or July.”
Dr Chansay said the second shipment of Covid-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility will arrive in the coming weeks or months.
Although the government has reinforced measures to contain the virus, Laos is struggling to contain the ongoing outbreak.
Prior to Lao New Year, only 59 cases had been reported but since then about 1,800 new cases have been identified in just one month.
Infections have occurred among groups of families, senior citizens, children and pregnant women. The virus is spreading among those working in factories, public offices and companies.
With a large stock of AstraZeneca, Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines in its armory, the government views vaccination as essential and is urging everyone to get inoculated to keep the virus from spreading.
“Before they are offered a vaccination, people must comply with all the government guidelines, such as observing social distancing and using hand sanitiser,” she said.
In Vientiane, health officials are accelerating the rollout of vaccinations by arranging more places where people can get their second jab.
Apart from district hospitals, vaccination is available at the Mahosot, Mittaphab and 103 Military hospitals and the Hamesa Police Hospital.
In addition, mobile vaccination units have been set up at Lao-ITECC, the Chinese temple in Dongpalaep village, University of Health Sciences and other places.
In the meantime, first doses are being administered to people in the provinces of Phongsaly, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Xaysomboun and Khammuan.