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COVAX donates 594,000 doses of vaccine

The government has welcomed a donation of 594,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, which will primarily be used for people who are at high risk of infection and who have not yet had third vaccinations.
The donation is part of the COVAX Facility’s ongoing efforts to ensure global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
The COVAX Facility is a partnership co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), with UNICEF as a key delivery partner.

The shipment of vaccine, which arrived at Wattay International Airport in Vientiane on Friday, was handed over to officials from the Ministry of Health by WHO and UNICEF representatives.
This new batch of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine makes it the tenth shipment of Covid-19 vaccine to be delivered to Laos through the COVAX Facility, following a recent donation of almost 1.7 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine through COVAX.
Combined with earlier vaccines provided through COVAX, this new shipment will provide full vaccination for over 4.1 million people or about 56 percent of the Lao population.
Under Laos’ National Deployment and Vaccination Plan, the latest batch of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will primarily be administered to priority groups including people over the age of 60, people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and health workers across the country.
Thereafter, the vaccine will be administered to other sectors of the population, including people in remote and hard-to-reach areas.
In addition, the new shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine will be used to provide further protection through an additional (third) dose for people with an elevated risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
The new batch of vaccine will be a further boost to Laos’ goal of vaccinating 87.25 percent of the population by the end of 2022.
The COVAX Facility also donated 1.27 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to the Ministry of Health in November last year.
As of February 16, some 65.83 percent of the eligible population in Laos had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and 58 percent had received all recommended doses.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update February 21, 2021)


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