Source: Vientiane Times
Health workers will begin providing second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines on Thursday as part of the immunisation campaign to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by the end of this year.
The vaccination programme is a large part of Covid-19 prevention and control measures introduced by authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.
The National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control announced on July 14 that the Mother and Child Health Centre has been authorised to administer the Pfizer and Sinopharm vaccines in Vientiane from July 15-25.
Laos is receiving vaccines from the COVAX Facility to use in the fight against Covid-19, and China has promised to give priority to Laos in the provision of vaccine.
It is anticipated that about 50 percent of the Lao population, or more than 3 million people, will be vaccinated this year.
According to the Ministry of Health, more than one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are set to arrive in Laos on Thursday with support from the United States, giving a boost to the government’s efforts to protect people against the coronavirus. These vaccines are being provided through the COVAX Facility, a global initiative that distributes Covid-19 shots to low and middle-income countries.
As of July 13, a total of 1,030,461 people in Laos, or 14 percent of the population, had received the first dose of a vaccine. A total of 647,872 people have received two doses, equal to 8 percent of the population.
Health authorities are expediting the vaccination programme as Laos strives to bring the Covid-19 outbreak under control.
Authorities have warned everyone in Laos to be alert as there is a high risk of a further outbreak, given that a large number of Lao workers are flocking home from other countries, especially Thailand, where Covid infections are spiralling. Statistics show that at least 15 percent of returning workers are carrying the virus.
This poses the threat of a widespread outbreak in Laos. The World Health Organisation and UNICEF are assisting with the national deployment and vaccination plan and improving preparedness for the administration of vaccines.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the United Nations has redesigned the Sexual and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Services programme to enable the continuing provision of essential health services during the pandemic.