Bhutan to start mass COVID vaccination from March 27; PM urges people to register

Bhutan will start the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination on March 27, Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering announced. He also urged people to register for the vaccine

Mar 18, 2021
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Bhutan will start the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination on March 27, Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering announced. He also urged people to register for the vaccine. “It’s my personal request to the public to register and get the Covid-19 vaccine,” he said.

The government decided on kicking off the vaccination programme after the Government of India confirmed that the second consignment of Covishield comprising 400,000 doses will arrive from India on March 22.

The Prime Minister thanked India for supplying the vaccines as per the government’s request despite the shortage for domestic use.

After consulting the Central Monastic Body for an auspicious date for the vaccination, the government selected March 27 for starting mass vaccination in the country. As per Buddhist astrology, a 30-year-old woman born in the year of Monkey will be the first to receive the vaccination, according to Kuensel Online.

Of the 536,000 people, who are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in the country, 480,372 people have so far registered till March 17. Out of that, around 7,000 including pregnant women, and those with illness, have said that they do not want to vaccinate.

While it is a personal choice to vaccinate if a large number of people don’t vaccinate the society remains highly vulnerable, officials said.

Moreover, without the vaccination certificate, people could face inconveniences for both local and international travel.

Tshering said that more than 350 million people have been vaccinated globally but the vaccination has not killed a single person as per studies. He also ruled out the connection of blood clotting with vaccination. “While a few countries have suspended the vaccination because of this, some countries have resumed vaccination,” he said.

However, he also promised that, “Should we observe any surprise complications or side effects we will also suspend the vaccination.”

Health personnel will visit homes to vaccinate those who cannot come to the vaccination centres, mainly disabled people.

The second dose of the vaccine is planned between 8-12 weeks after the first dose. However, the prime minister said that the government will observe the trend globally and follow accordingly.

The vaccination rollout plan seems to have some minor changes. The health personnel will now get the vaccine after the nationwide campaign ends. There will be some travel restrictions due to the vaccination, the newspaper said.

“Those with genuine reasons will be allowed to move but our request is to not travel at all,” Dr. Tshering said.

The health ministry has asked the public to visit the Bhutan vaccine system through https://bvs.moh.gov.bt to register for the COVID-19 vaccination.  The link is also available on www.gov.bt.

All above the age of 15 years should register irrespective of the eligibility criteria.

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