Despite high vaccine coverage, Bhutan cannot safely live with COVID: NI-TAG

Bhutan will be attaining nearly 80 percent of vaccine coverage after fully vaccinating around 50,000 children above 12 to 17 years.

According to the National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (NI-TAG) despite the high vaccine coverage, Bhutan cannot safely begin to live with COVID at this point of time. If there is approval of vaccination of 6 years to 11 years’ children, Bhutan can attain around 90 percent coverage, said NI-TAG member Dr Sonam Wangchuk.

Lately Bhutan has not detected any positive cases from the community and few cases reported were all imported. Dr Sonam Wangchuk, said no matter whether there is a month or two months without any positive cases from the community, Bhutan will always have to act according to the global situation.

Bhutan is not safe until the whole world is safe, so every individual must adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols and follow non-pharmaceutical interventions.

As per the Indian News, although India is seeing a significant decline in terms of new Covid-19 cases being recorded, Kolkata is emerging as one of the primary districts of concern as infection rates rise. Bhutan’s COVID situation will always depend on the situation of the neighboring country.

Another reason that Bhutan is not safe from COVID is that there are emerging COVID-19 variants globally, and currently Bhutan has detected Delta variant which has high transmissibility and there are high chances of having new variants.

As per the Our World in Data, to bring this pandemic to an end, a large share of the world needs to be immune to the virus through the vaccine.

Last week Bhutan purchased 250,000 doses of Moderna vaccine. The first consignment of 100,000 doses of Moderna vaccine arrived and the remaining 150,000 doses will be delivered during the first quarter of the year 2022.

The first tranche of the vaccines is planned to be used as a 2nd dose for the children between 12 to 17 years and also to those adults (18 years and above) who have received their 1st dose of Moderna vaccine and have not received their 2nd dose. The second dose was rolled out during the last week of October, 2021.

There were around 50,000 children left who are receiving their second dose and around 20,000 children left who will be getting the first dose.

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