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Vaccinations Continue Despite Lockdown

Source: Vientiane Times

Vaccinations against Covid-19 continue to be offered despite highly-restricted movement during the current lockdown, a senior government official has said.

Vientiane authorities have ordered a lockdown across the capital until September 30, restricting travel on roads so that only essential trips are allowed after a permit has been issued.

Addressing a daily news briefing on Thursday, Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control of the Ministry of Health, Dr Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, said the vaccination programme was continuing as normal.

Several centres have been set up where vaccinations are on offer.

People are advised to go to any of these locations, which include Lao-ITECC, the Chinese temple in Dongpalaeb village, and hospitals in the capital’s nine districts.

“In villages that have been classified as red zones, mobile vaccination units will be in service,” the director general said.

Outside the capital, authorities in areas where there are no cluster outbreaks are continuing to vaccinate people in target groups in a bid to fulfil the government’s goal to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by the end of this year.

Minister of Health Prof. Dr Bounfeng Phommalaysith told reporters this week that authorities would speed up the vaccination rollout after the lockdown is lifted.

Target groups include people aged 17 and over as well as women who are at least 12 weeks pregnant.
In addition, authorities plan to vaccinate students aged 12 to 17 so that schools can reopen.

The government is in the process of procuring sufficient quantities of vaccine to meet the needs of the target groups.

Dr Lattanaxay told reporters that 30,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Laos on Wednesday. This quantity can be used to fully inoculate 30,000 people as only one dose is needed to provide immunity.

As of September 15, as many as 2,739,614 people had received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine while 1,890,717 people had been given two doses.