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People's Daily Online

COVID-19 vaccination program in Laos makes good progress

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 15:28, April 19, 2021

VIENTIANE, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 vaccination program in Laos is underway and the majority of people in target areas have had their first dose of the vaccine.

The Lao government plans to vaccinate at least 150,000 people in the initial stages of the program.

Local daily Vientiane Times on Monday quoted Director General of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion under the Lao Ministry of Health Phonepaseuth Ounaphom said that the sectors involved had vaccinated 85 percent of the target population.

As of April 4, some 103,000 people in at-risk groups had received their first vaccination, while 6,171 people have had their second doses, according to the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

The vaccination drive is part of COVID-19 prevention and control plans which health authorities are going all out to implement in a bid to keep the virus in check.

The vaccination program has been expanded to cover more target groups in addition to health workers.

Civil servants and officials from ministries, ministry-equivalent organizations, local departments, foreign embassies, international organizations and their families, as well as some businesses categorized as being at risk, are now targeted under the expanded program.

An earlier report said that about 22 percent of the population, or about 1.6 million people, will be vaccinated in 2021, said the report.

Vaccination coverage is expected to rise to 70 percent of the population by 2022, with more people to be vaccinated in the following years.

The Lao Ministry of Health asked everyone to be mindful of the risks posed by COVID-19.

Authorities and people must strictly follow government guidelines concerning virus prevention measures.

Laos has now confirmed 58 cases of COVID-19, with nine people undergoing treatment in hospitals.

The country reported its first two COVID-19 cases on March 24 last year.

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