Media to Strengthen Promotion of COVID-19 Vaccination in Laos

The Ministry of Health (MOH) in collaboration with the Mass Media Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) and UNICEF on Jun 14 organised a briefing for news editors from national media outlets to strengthen the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the Lao PDR.

The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Somsavath Phongsa, Director General of the Mass Media Department of MICT, Dr. Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, Director General of the Hygiene and Health Promotion Department of MOH, along with Mr. Bisrat Abiy, Officer-in-Charge for UNICEF Lao PDR’s Health Section.

The briefing was aimed at presenting the latest updates on the national vaccination rollout, particularly in the seven northern provinces of Luang Prabang, Phongsaly, Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Xayaboury, Bokeo and Vientiane, following a recent discovery that vaccination rates in these provinces are still below the intended target for 2021.

“Vaccination is key to the Lao PDR’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. While there are still challenges to the rollout of vaccination in 32 districts of the country where vaccination rate is lower than 50% in 2021. There are also opportunities and we must continue encouraging our community members to get vaccinated to reach more than 80% in 2022,” stated Dr. Phonepaseuth Ounaphom, Director General of the Hygiene and Health Promotion Department of MOH.

The meeting participants further discussed how to improve the delivery of vaccination to community members to help achieve current national targets, the role of the media in driving the nationwide vaccination campaign, alongside future vaccination plans, particularly among children.

“Mass Media, with its wide public reach, plays a vital role in disseminating accurate and trustworthy information on COVID-19 to the public. It is important that media outlets throughout the country strengthen their engagement with the public to aid progress towards our national vaccination targets,” stated Mr. Somsavath Phongsa, Director General of the Mass Media Department of MICT.

“Vaccines remain an indispensable tool in handling COVID-19 and it is crucial that everyone in the community, from children to the elderly, get vaccinated. UNICEF remains committed to working with the Government of the Lao PDR on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign and engaging communities to build trust in vaccines,” stated Mr. Bisrat Abiy, Officer-in-Charge for UNICEF Lao PDR’s Health Section.

Source: Lao News Agency

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