Nationwide Covid-19 vaccination rollout began

Health officials urge people not to rush or schedule the vaccination on the final day

Ninda Dema, born in 1992 in the monkey year from Paro and working as the intellectual property officer with the economic affairs ministry, took the first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine at 9am on Saturday. The first dose of the vaccination will inoculate at the Lungtenzampa School vaccination center with the lighting of butter lamps and prayers.

Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering will be the second person to receive the jab at his quarantine centre. This will be followed by vaccination of the family members of the prime minister and the rest of the cabinet ministers. Lyonchhen is presently under quarantine facility after returning from Bangladesh on Thursday.

Cabinet ministers and the family of Lyonchhen will also inoculate the vaccine at Lungtenzampa middle secondary school after Ninda Dema.

Nurse Tshering Zangmo will administer the first vaccine dose to Ninda Dema.

Similarly, according to the Dzongdags of some of the dzongkhags, they have also identified a woman born in 1992 in the monkey year to first get the vaccine. In some dzongkhags, the first dose of vaccine will be received by the Dzongdag and Lam Neten.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) in consultation with the respective Dzongkhags has identified 1,001 vaccination sites of which 363 are schools including ECCD centers.

The identified schools or ECCD centers will remain closed till the end of the vaccination campaign.

According to the ministry, approximately 1,200 individuals have further registered with mobility issues. Vaccination will be arranged at home by the respective health workers of the catchment area after campaign period.

Similarly, all elderly population (70-years and above) will be vaccinated at the health facility and the respective Dzongkhag to facilitate transportation of elderly people where necessity to the nearest health facility.

The vaccination for individuals in the institution such as Shedras, Gomdes, and Colleges will be arranged in their respective campuses.

According to Paro Dzongdag, the finance minister will inoculate the first dose of vaccine at Paro.

MoH officials said that they are fully prepared as they had almost two months to prepare for the nationwide vaccination program.

“Although we might see some hindrances and difficulties in implementation part tomorrow onward, we have trained all the front-liners,” officials said. “People might still face some confusion in terms of vaccination post especially in Thimphu. Rest of the dzongkhags we are hoping it will go smoothly.” 

The ministry has mobilized and deployed 45 doctors to various locations to oversee the vaccination program today.

According to the officials, people should not rush or leave the vaccination for the seventh day as there will be crowding.

Meanwhile, as per the National Situational Update on COVID-19, as of March 25, 2021, 512,905 individuals have registered for COVID-19 vaccination.

Regarding updates from other parts of the country on the vaccination, viewers can watch the program aired live until 12:30 pm on BBS, which is brought in collaboration with the Prime Minister’s Office. Prime Minister will also reach out to the nation to share experiences and updates from day one of the vaccination campaign, from the quarantine facility after the 7pm news today.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu