Lao medical workers to be inoculated against Covid-19 with Chinese vaccines


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VIENTANE, March 8 (Xinhua): Some 150,000 medical workers in Laos will get vaccinated against Covid-19 in March and April using the China-donated Sinopharm vaccines, local media has reported.

According to a report by the Lao daily Vientiane Times, Lao people in at-risk groups between the ages of 18 and 60 will also be given priority in the vaccination drive, including those with a chronic illness and migrant workers.

This represents a second round of vaccination, scheduled for mid-March to early April. In the first round, volunteer medical workers received the COVID-19 vaccine at the end of 2020, said the report.

Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion under the Lao Ministry of Health, has updated reporters on the Covid-19 pandemic situation in Laos.

He said the vaccination drive has been conducted in line with the country's Covid-19 prevention and control plans which health authorities are now going all out to implement in a bid to keep the coronavirus in check.

"Through the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine, we have seen that the people who have been vaccinated have no negative effects on the symptoms. "Therefore, the Lao Ministry of Health believes that these vaccines are of high quality, safe and reliable, and improve immunity.

"I have received two doses of Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, and the vaccination did not negatively affect the symptoms. Therefore, the Lao Ministry of Health decided to distribute these COVID-19 vaccines to all provinces in Laos," said Phonepaseuth.

Chinese vaccines are considered to be safe and reliable and the Lao people are eagerly looking forward to taking shots, Phonepaseuth said.

It is expected that about 20 percent of the Lao population will be vaccinated in 2021, and the coverage is planned to rise to 50 percent in 2022 and 70 percent in 2023, according to the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

Lao authorities are also considering acquiring Covid-19 vaccines produced in Germany, Japan, and other countries after they have been approved by regulators, according to the report. As of Tuesday, Laos has tested 114,339 samples and reported 45 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 42 recoveries.

Laos recorded its first two confirmed cases of Covid-19 on March 24 last year. - Xinhua
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