VIENTIANE, July 17 (Vientiane Times/ANN): More than one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine donated by the government of the United States arrived in Vientiane late Friday evening (July 16).
The vaccines were donated through the COVAX Facility – a partnership co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), with UNICEF as the key delivery partner.
The 1,008,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine will be used by the Lao government to provide protection against the Coronavirus to more than one million people, representing about 14 percent of the total population, as it only requires only a single dose.
“We’re so excited that this contribution by the United States, with assistance from COVAX, will fully vaccinate 1,008,000 people,” the US Embassy in Vientiane said on its Facebook page.
The plane carrying the vaccines landed at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane on Friday evening.
The Minister of Health, Dr Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, the US Ambassador to Laos, Dr Peter M Haymond, and other officials and partners welcomed the arrival of the vaccines at the airport.
The donation is part of the United States’ contribution to global efforts to end the pandemic, and support for Laos’ goal to vaccinate 50 percent of its population by the end of this year.
As of July 13, a total of 1,030,461 people in Laos had received the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, accounting for 14 percent of the population. Some 647,872 people have got two doses, equal to 8 percent of the population.
The delivery of the vaccines comes after US President Joe Biden announced in June that the United States would purchase and donate 500 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to 92 countries, including Laos. Some 200 million doses will be delivered by the end of this year and the remaining 300 million will be delivered in the first half of 2022.
Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, Laos previously received a shipment of 132,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca-Oxford vaccines in March and a shipment of 100,620 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine in early June. Both these shipments were procured through the COVAX facility.
Japan recently announced the donation, through the COVAX facility, of 616,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Japan for the people of Laos. This will further boost the vaccination programme of the Lao government. - Vientiane Times/ANN