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Second round of Covid-19 vaccinations slated to begin in April

The second round of the Covid-19 vaccination programme is expected to get underway in April as planned, health authorities say.
At-risk groups will be vaccinated first, including frontline workers such as medical staff including nurses and volunteers, elderly people, those with a chronic illness, and migrant workers.
Some key medical workers have already been vaccinated after 2,000 doses of vaccine were provided by China, according to the Ministry of Health.
Dr Somvay Ongkhammy, who cared for Covid-19 patients at Mittaphab Hospital, said he had been vaccinated during the first round of immunisation. He had experienced no side effects and was pleased that he was part of the nationwide effort to prevent the spread of the virus.
He said no one had felt any side effects after being vaccinated.
All vaccines take time to provide immunity and no vaccine can be guaranteed to provide total immunity in every individual. This means it is possible for someone to fall ill even after being vaccinated, he said.
A senior official from the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases at Mittaphab Hospital, Dr Phetkim Sayasene, said the vaccines provided against Covid-19 have not been shown to cause any serious side effects and about 95 percent of people vaccinated have developed antibodies that suppress the virus. All vaccines have to pass stringent safety and quality checks.
She believed the vaccine provided to Laos was effective and that any side effects would normally be felt only within the first 30 minutes after vaccination. Typical side effects include feeling tired, headache and general aches, or mild flu-like symptoms.
“We won’t know how long the immunity produced by a vaccine lasts until we have more data. Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of Covid-19 that experts are trying to learn more about,” she added.
There is currently limited data on the use of vaccines in pregnant women. As a precaution, women should avoid becoming pregnant until at least two months after being vaccinated, she said.
Two doses of the vaccine are required to ensure immunity. 
A nurse who took care of Covid-19 patients at Mittaphab Hospital, Mr Kheuam Silivong, said people would develop strong protection against the virus after being vaccinated.
He said people of all ages should protect themselves by being immunised and although no vaccine could offer 100 percent immunity, vaccination against respiratory illnesses is highly recommended.
China will support developing and least developed countries including Laos to access Covid-19 vaccines.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update
January 21,

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