Bhutan has become the first South Asian country to start vaccinating its children against the Covid-19 virus
Bhutan has become the first South Asian country to start vaccinating its children against the Covid-19 virus. Over 32,000 children aged between 12 and 17 years have already received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. The country has already vaccinated 90 percent of the population above 18 years and started vaccinated children in nine of its total twenty districts from last week. All the nine districts, the government says, are high-risk districts.
On 29 July, drug regulators in the country approved the Moderna vaccine for children between 12 and 18 years. Pfizer was already approved for children. The targeted population in these nine dzongkhags is 49,994 children, according to a report in Kuensel.
Thimphu, the country’s capital, has the largest number with more than 13,000 children. However, districts in the north are at low risk in comparison to southern districts which shares boundary with India.
Bhutan has already ordered 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine, and delivery is expected by the year-end. Currently, it has surplus vaccines. Currently, many districts in the southern area are reporting Covid cases due to the prevalence of the Delta variant.
The government has set a target of vaccinated an overall 80 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity.
Health Minister Dechen Wangmo said that as children were more vulnerable to Covid-19, it was a priority for the government to vaccinate all the eligible children, especially in the high-risk areas.
“If we can vaccinate all the eligible children, we can achieve the theoretical target of 80 percent coverage to achieve herd immunity,” she was quoted as saying by Kuensel.
With over 80,000 children in this age group, the existing number of Moderna vaccines (50,000 plus) cannot fully cover all the children. Efforts are underway to secure more vaccines.