Bhutan set to conduct second nationwide vaccination drive from 20 July

Email

Bhutan received 500,000 doses of Moderna vaccine and will be receiving more vaccines in the coming weeks.

Bhutan received Moderna vaccine from the U.S.

Last evening (12 July), Bhutan received 500,000 doses of Modern vaccine from the U.S. government. The U.S. government donated the vaccines through COVAX Facility. The vaccines were delivered to Bhutan via a special chartered flight organised by UNICEF. Health Minister Dechen Wangmo, UNICEF representative Dr Will Parks, Foreign Secretary Kinga Singye, and other officials received the vaccines at Paro International Airport. 

According to a press release from the US Embassy & Consulate in India, the U.S. government and the American people donated the vaccines as a part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s global efforts to end the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Chargé d’Affaires, Ambassador Atul Keshap, said: “The United States is proud of our long-standing friendship with Bhutan and its people. Supporting Bhutan’s efforts to provide safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines to its people demonstrates the United States’ leadership in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.”

The arrival of the Moderna vaccines yesterday was the latest example of the United States’ efforts to support Bhutan in the fight against the pandemic.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. government has provided Bhutan with more than USD 1 million to strengthen the country’s healthcare system, contributed technical assistance to increase laboratory testing capacity.

In addition, the U.S. government donated essential health equipment to Bhutan, including 110 oxygen cylinders, more than 17,000 N95 masks, medical machinery and vehicles, and 15 state-of-the-art ventilators that are being used in various hospitals across the country.

The health ministry will roll out a sensitisation programme for the community to educate people on the side effects and benefits of the Moderna vaccine.

Bhutan to receive more COVID-19 vaccines

Another consignment of 120,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine gifted by Denmark will arrive in the country today. 

The UNICEF office in Bhutan is facilitating the transhipment of vaccines to Bhutan.

UNICEF representative, Dr Will Parks, said that the office had to organise a chartered flight from Kentucky to Paro to bring in the vaccines.

Bhutan will be receiving more vaccines from other countries in the coming weeks:

1. 250,000 doses of AstraZeneca from Denmark
2. Over 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca from Croatia, Bulgaria and a few other countries
3. 5,850 doses of Pfizer from COVAX Facility
4. 50,000 doses of Sinopham from People's Republic of China

The government has also ordered 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will arrive towards the end of the year.

"Vaccines are certainly a most scarce commodity at this time, so we are grateful to have so much support from the international community," said Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering in a press release. "We are fortunate that Bhutan evokes tremendous goodwill and affection the world over; we are blessed with genuine friends who have been unwavering in their help and support for our country," he added.

The second nationwide vaccination drive

Bhutan has now secured sufficient vaccines to roll out the second vaccination campaign with all these generous donations from various countries. The kingdom has enough vaccines to administer the second dose for the eligible population of above 18 years and made provisions to cover those who are 17 years and below. 

Upon consultation with the Zhung Dratshang (central monastic body), the government set to carry out the nationwide vaccination drive on the auspicious date of 20 July.

About 95% of the eligible population in the country was inoculated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine — gifted by Government of India — in March earlier this year. 

The rollout plan will be similar to the first vaccination campaign held in March. Health Minister said that logistics were arranged as per the country's projected population, and they would distribute vaccines to all the districts in the next six days.

Vaccines would be airlifted where it was impossible to be transported by land.

Health Minister urged every eligible population to participate in the vaccination programme to achieve herd immunity.

Mixing of vaccines

Given the ongoing trials of mixing COVID-19 vaccines globally, Bhutan is also exploring the possibility of mixing the vaccines. 

AstraZeneca vaccines are viral vector vaccines, while both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. The viral vaccine stimulates a good T cell response, while the mRNA vaccine creates a solid antibody response. Researchers believe that combining the different vaccines will trigger a more robust and longer-lasting immune response. 

The National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NI-TAG) has also recommended the mix-and-match method of vaccination. However, the government is still deciding whether to go ahead with the heterologous method. 

Meanwhile, the second nationwide vaccination rollout and allocation plan will be notified in the coming days.



Related Posts

How the small Himalayan nation Bhutan combats COVID-19...

With just 37 doctors, 1200 vaccination centers and less than 3000 healthcare workers, Bhutan vaccinated 93% of its...

May 12, 2021 12:54

Bhutan is set to carry out nationwide vaccination drive from 27...

With the 550,000 doses of Covishield vaccines, Bhutan is set to roll out its nationwide vaccination drive on 27 March...

Mar 23, 2021 11:20

A detailed summary of Bhutan's COVID-19 management and plans...

With offices and all businesses open, movement of vehicles allowed and critical services resumed from 21st March 2022,...

Mar 22, 2022 11:23

Vaccinated tourists to undergo 5-day quarantine in Bhutan from...

What you need to know about entering Bhutan from April 25.

Mar 14, 2022 14:21

Bhutan Prime Minister urges children aged 5 to 11 to get their...

Bhutan's nationwide vaccination drive for children will be held from 6th to 12th March 2022.

Mar 07, 2022 14:18

Bhutan will be rolling out nationwide vaccination drive for...

Earlier today, Bhutan has received the Pfizer and BioNtech vaccines for children aged 5 to 11.

Mar 02, 2022 14:01

Latest

News

Colours Beyond the Wall Volume II: Reformation through Art

‘Do you see the eyes?’ ‘Look closely and you would see the eyes with tears streaming down. And this is the nose,’ Kinga (name changed) said...

Apr 26, 2022 22:01

Travel to Bhutan: go off the beaten path in eastern Bhutan

You will find settlements on high grounds and isolated valleys. You will see rolling hills, deep gorges, and green pastures.

Mar 28, 2022 15:44

Features

What went on at Miss Bhutan 2022 preliminary competition

The 3rd edition of Miss Bhutan is underway and the Preliminary Round was held and broadcast live on BBS Channel 2 on 15th May 2022 from...

May 19, 2022 21:11

Check out Drunken Yeti Bar for the best cocktails in Thimphu

Named after a mythical Himalayan creature and perched on top of a distinct and unique 3-storied building in Thimphu, lies a unique bar that...

May 17, 2022 21:11

Business

The enormous role of hydropower in Bhutan

Bhutan uses hydropower to conserve the environment, produce electricity, and achieve economic self-reliance.

Jan 25, 2022 11:43

Online businesses are becoming more and more popular in Bhutan

Even though the Internet was developed in the 1960s, the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan was only introduced to it in June 1999.

Jan 20, 2022 12:41

Sports

Outstanding individuals, schools and clubs awarded for their contributions to grassroots football

On December 22, 2021, the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF), a bronze member of the AFC Grassroots Charter,presented awards to unsung heroes...

Jan 11, 2022 14:15

Bhutan's national women cricket team won ICC Women's T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier 2021 opening match

The United Arab Emirates is currently hosting the ICC Women's T20 World Cup Asia Qualifier. The two ICC Academy grounds in Dubai Sports City...

Nov 23, 2021 11:13

Travel

Trace the footsteps of the Divine Madman on this hiking trail

There is no better way to connect spiritually with Drukpa Kuenley, the “Divine Madman”. The trail will take you downhill for about four...

Apr 28, 2022 22:30

Been to Bhutan before? Stand a chance to win FREE flight tickets to back to Bhutan!

If you’ve been to Bhutan before, we want to hear your story.

Apr 15, 2022 19:49

Lifestyle

The hot springs of Bhutan are believed to have miraculous healing properties

The Bhutanese believe that hot springs are a blessing from the Buddha.

Apr 08, 2022 21:52

What are the five main fruits in a Bhutanese fruit bowl 'thokay'?

There are usually five fruits that make it to the 'thokay' (fruit bowl) placed on the altars or in front of the King, Chief Abbot and Lamas.

Mar 08, 2022 15:54

COVID-19

A detailed summary of Bhutan's COVID-19 management and plans moving forward

With offices and all businesses open, movement of vehicles allowed and critical services resumed from 21st March 2022, Bhutan braces for a...

Mar 22, 2022 11:23

Vaccinated tourists to undergo 5-day quarantine in Bhutan from April 25

What you need to know about entering Bhutan from April 25.

Mar 14, 2022 14:21

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!