VIENTIANE, Jan. 24 (Xinhua): The Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Laos has achieved good results last year, but due to the ongoing pandemic and remaining challenges, more lessons are to be learned to ensure a larger segment of the population get vaccinated in 2022.
The government has achieved its goal to vaccinate at least 50 percent of the population by the end of 2021, bringing the virus outbreak under control.
Local daily Vientiane Times on Monday quoted Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, director general of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion under the Lao Ministry of Health, as saying that the government urged people in all at-risk groups to come forward and be vaccinated to minimize the impacts on people’s health and the economy.
The Lao government understood that vaccination was the most important tool in the fight against the virus, he said.
The Ministry of Health has instructed authorities to set up more vaccination centers at community dispensaries and in villages to provide easier access for local people.
“We 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,” Phonepaseuth said.
The government has advised the Ministry of Health to further cooperate with local administrations to continue the fight against COVID-19 and to further boost immunity to the virus among people of all ages.
Provincial authorities are working with health units and vaccination teams in the field to encourage local people to get vaccinated, and to support field activities overall.
At the community level, village heads, mass organizations, mother and child health centers, village elders, and religious leaders are all playing a part in getting out the message about vaccination and mobilising support for the immunisation campaign.
The health ministry has instructed provincial governors and other senior officials to supervise the collection of information regarding the number of people in the 12-17 age group so that the appropriate quantity of vaccines can be provided.
The ministry has also asked local authorities and health officials to review the progress made in immunizing people of all ages and to ensure that jabs are given to those who have not yet had a vaccination.
This includes adults with diseases such as cancer, chronic renal failure, and respiratory ailments as well as pregnant women. – Xinhua