Bhutanese Foreign Minister Tandi Dorgi has said that the Indian government has assured them to supply Covishield which the Himalayan country required to administer the second dose
Bhutanese Foreign Minister Tandi Dorgi has said that the Indian government has assured them to supply Covishield which the Himalayan country required to administer the second dose.
“Even with the current unfortunate situation in India, we are hopeful they would support us because, with the first dose, we are only half protected,” Vetsop Namgyel, the Bhutanese ambassador to India, was quoted as saying by Kuensel after a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar last week.
Between 27 March- 4 April, Bhutan administered the first doses to almost all eligible persons in the country, almost 80 percent of its total population. Around 4,67,000 individuals, including foreigners, got their jabs.
Meanwhile, the government is already working for alternate routes to get vaccines. The COVAX facility had promised to supply vaccines to cover 20 percent of its population. Dorgi said the government has already submitted papers to procure vaccines from COVAX.
“The foreign ministry is keeping a close eye on this and has asked all our missions (offices in foreign countries) to start the channel of communication so that whenever possible, we can get some vaccines from these countries as well,” he said.
Apart from India, the Bhutanese government has also been in touch with South Korea, Thailand, and Australia where Astra Zeneca has started manufacturing its vaccines.
Furthermore, authorities in Bhutan are also exploring options to vaccinate children between the ages of 12-17 people. The country has already ordered 200,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the only one approved so far for this age group.
Bhutan has a significant population in this age group. Officials believe herd immunity can’t be achieved without vaccinating this group.