Fourth booster dose for vulnerable to be provided in April

The Ministry of Health (MoH) will provide the fourth booster dose to vulnerable groups of population tentatively in the second half of April. Vulnerable groups are those at 60 and above and anyone with comorbid conditions.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), certain immune-compromised individuals, and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago, are eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19.

Boosters are safe, and especially important for those 65 years and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk for severe disease from COVID-19, as they are the most likely to benefit from receiving an additional booster dose at this time.

MoH plans to roll out a fourth dose to all the eligible population in the future. The third booster doses for the general population above 18 years old have been rolled out, and around 90 percent of the total population has been vaccinated in the country.

Meanwhile, the Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo said the Phase II management of COVID-19 is to prevent premature mortality in the country.

There are 9,710 active cases as of and around 95 percent of the COVID-19 individuals are managed in home isolation with most of them being asymptomatic.

As of 3 April there were 300 COVID-19 individuals in the hotel isolation and there are around 300 individuals who need medications and are in COVID-19 hospitals across the country. Only two individuals who are at high risk and are critical are in JDWNRH COVID-19 isolation in Thimphu.

So far 2,279 children below 5 years are COVID-19 positive in the country, of which around 49 percent of the children are asymptomatic.  So far, Bhutan recorded 14 deaths of the individuals with comorbidities. Therefore, individuals with comorbidities are at higher risk.

There are around 300 individuals in the Reserve Isolation as of 3 April. The health teams also check on the COVID-19 positive individuals who are home isolated, said the Health Minister.

As per the latest data from the Bhutan Vaccine System on people are who most vulnerable, there are 202 people at 65 and above who are not vaccinated and are comorbid.

There are 654 people at 65 and above who are vaccinated with less than 3 doses and are comorbid.

218 people at 65 and above have no comorbidities but are not vaccinated.

Then 527 people at 65 and above have no comorbidities but have less than three doses.

202 people below 65 are not vaccinated and have comorbidities.

Then there are 1,805 people below 65 who have comorbidities and have got less than three doses.།

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