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US donates more Covid-19 vaccine to Laos

Adolescents aged 12 to 17, people aged 60 and over, people with underlying health conditions, and pregnant women will be among those benefitting from the latest donation of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine from the United States.
Some 899,730 doses of the vaccine donated by the US arrived at Wattay International Airport on Monday, and is the second such donation to be delivered this month.
The first shipment of 799,110 doses arrived in Laos on January 2, with the combined total of both shipments this year comprising 1,698,840 doses of vaccine.
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has been reviewed for safety and efficacy by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is the first Covid vaccine recommended by WHO for use in individuals aged 12 and above.

The vaccine will be distributed among priority groups in Laos in line with the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan.
The new shipment has been procured through the COVAX Facility, which is a partnership co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and WHO, with UNICEF as a key delivery partner.
The United States, through USAID, UNICEF and WHO, is strengthening Laos’ capacity to safely and effectively distribute Covid vaccines.
This latest contribution from the United States will support the government’s efforts to vaccinate 80 percent of the population by the end of 2022 and contributes to the COVAX Facility’s mission of ensuring global equitable access to Covid vaccines during the pandemic.
The donation builds upon the one million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which the United States donated to Laos in July 2021 and will help to protect lives in Laos while preventing dangerous new variants from spreading.
To date, the United States has provided over US$13 million of support to Laos since the pandemic began, to expand Covid-19 testing, keep health workers safe with personal protective equipment, and strengthen disease surveillance.
A ceremony at Wattay International Airport to hand over the vaccine to the government was attended by Minister of Health, Dr Bounfeng Phoummalaysith; US Ambassador to Laos, Dr Peter M. Haymond; Country Representative for the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr Michael Ronning; UNICEF Representative a.i. to Laos, Ms Beate Dastel; and WHO Officer-in-charge to Laos, Dr Yu Lee Park.

By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
 (Latest Update January 25, 2022)

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