General

Australia Provides 1,005,580 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Laos

The Lao PDR has received a total of 1,005,580 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Australia.

This bilateral donation of COVID-19 vaccines from Australia consisted of 905,580 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.

These vaccines will further support the Lao PDR in extending its national vaccine rollout and form part of a AU$22 million (USD15.6m) package of COVID-19 support, which also includes technical assistance, training and medical equipment.

The handover ceremony for the vaccines was held at the Ministry of Health and attended by Minister of Health Bounfeng Phoummalaysith, Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Bounleua Phandanouvong, Australian Deputy Head of Mission Dan Heldon, and UNICEF Representative a.i. to the Lao PDR Beate Dastel.

“Representing the Government of the Lao PDR, I would like to extend our sincerest appreciation to the Government of Australia for their assistance in supplying more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Lao people. Australia’s contribution is most welcome and will greatly support our current efforts to reach the goal of vaccinating 87.25 per cent of the population in 2022 with a focus on adolescents and other priority groups,” remarked Minister of Health Bounfeng Phoummalaysith.

The latest shipment of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines from Australia will be targeted to adolescents aged 12 to 17 years as part of the Government of the Lao PDR’s current efforts to get children back to school and continue to implement the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP). The Pfizer vaccine will also be used to vaccinate other target groups including people aged 60 years old and above, health care workers and those with underlying health conditions. In addition, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines provided by Australia will be used to further provide protection to priority groups according to the NDVP.

“Australia is proud to play a role in bolstering the Government of the Lao PDR’s COVID-19 response and its vaccinations efforts to meet the new vaccination target of 87.25 per cent by 2022,” said Australian Deputy Head of Mission Dan Heldon. “Importantly, the shipment of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines provided by Australia will be key in supporting the Government’s strategy to protect adolescents against the virus with a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization.”

“UNICEF is pleased to support the delivery of these COVID-19 vaccines from Australia to the Lao PDR. All COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in the Lao PDR have been rigorously tested and proven to be safe and effective in preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine has been provided to hundreds of millions of people around the world. It has also been marked as safe and effective for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years old,” said UNICEF Representative a.i. to the Lao PDR Beate Dastel.

As of Jan 10, about 4,620,374 people (around 62.97 per cent of the total population in the Lao PDR) have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination and about 3,721,147 people (50.71 per cent) have received all recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccination.

Source: Lao News Agency