A health worker gives a COVID-19 jab to a resident in Vientiane, Laos. (Photo: XINHUA/VNA)
The government has obtained its goal to vaccinate at least 50 percent of the population by the end of 2021, putting the pandemic under control. However, challenges remain and more lessons are to be learned to ensure a larger segment of the population get vaccinated in 2022.
The Vientiane Times on January 24 quoted Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion under the Ministry of Health, as saying that the country made good progress last year under the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan.
Large numbers of people in priority groups have been fully vaccinated, including children aged 12 and over, pregnant women, and essential workers such as school teachers.
In order to increase vaccine coverage, striving to achieve the goal of at least 80 percent of the population being vaccinated by the end of 2022, the Ministry of Health has directed authorities to set up more vaccination centres in community health stations and in villages to make it easier for local people to access. The ministry also urged unvaccinated people or those who have not been received two shots to be vaccinated to minimise the impact on people’s health and the economy.
As of January 21, the percentage of people who have one dose of COVID-19 vaccine has accounted for nearly 64 percent of the population while those with two shots reached 53 percent.
Regarding the COVID-19 situation, the Ministry of Health on January 24 said that in the past 24 hours, the country recorded only 340 new infections and one fatality, the lowest in many months in the country. The national tally reached 130,293 cases, with 527 deaths./.