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Laos begins 2nd round of COVID-19 vaccination

16 Jun 2021, 15:30 GMT+10

VIENTIANE, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Lao health authorities are rolling out the second round of vaccination program, aiming to immunize hundreds of thousands of people against COVID-19.

Inoculations of the first doses of Pfizer vaccine and Sinopharm vaccine began on Tuesday.

The second doses will be given 21-28 days later, local daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday quoted Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, director general of the Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion under the Lao Ministry of Health, as saying.

The Pfizer vaccine is provided by the World Health Organization-led COVAX Facility.

A new batch of Sinopharm vaccine provided by the Chinese government arrived in Laos on Monday.

The Pfizer vaccine will be given to 50,300 people over the age of 60 and those with underlying health conditions. Other priority groups are government officials, medical staff, those who work in border areas, and people who regularly cross the border.

So far, Laos has received about 2,136,620 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,000 doses of Sputnik V.

As of Saturday, some 712,793 people had received their first dose of vaccine, while 385,921 had been given a second dose, according to the Ministry of Health.

The latest delivery of Sinopharm and Pfizer vaccines will add fuel to the government's efforts to vaccinate 50 percent of the population by the end of 2021.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded in Laos is 2,025, with 1,905 recoveries.

Laos confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases on March 24 last year.

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