All urged to get the COVID-19 jab

Currently, there are 20,000 eligible people who have not vaccinated and daily 1,100 doses are inoculated in the country

There are about 20,000 eligible people who have not vaccinated and daily 1,100 are coming forward on an average for vaccination in various health centers in the country, according to Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo. 

The minister said the vaccination is important to achieve herd immunity of 80% since the COVID-19 delta variant is 40% more transmissible compared to earlier alpha and beta variant.

This means that more than 604,000 people from the total population of 756,129 must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. 

Bhutan has 533,000 eligible population for COVID-19 vaccination and 21.7% of the population are under 18 years. 

Lyonpo said the Health Ministry is trying to mobilize vaccine for the younger age group. “By vaccinating them, we can achieve at least 81% to 82%,” said Lyonpo. 

Additionally, the minister said there are 20,000 of the eligible population not getting the vaccine during the first nationwide vaccination program and if it climbs to 30,000 during the second dose vaccination campaign, it would be difficult to achieve herd immunity. 

Lyonpo requested 100% of the vaccine eligible population to come forward and add to the  immunity. 

Dr Sonam Wangchuk from the National Immunisation Technical Advisory Group said there are certain group who are hesitant to get vaccine; however, the ministry has no clue why people are hesitant to get the vaccine. 

He added that the ministry has carried out adequate advocacy of the COVID-19 vaccines.

 “With having small population, even a single person not vaccinating will have an impact; the nation will not achieve herd immunity and there will be transmission of the COVID-19 among the family members,” said Dr Sonam Wangchuk. 

“Either we can choose to have herd immunity or infection,” he added.

“I urge everyone to rise above the circumstances to get vaccinated and add up the number that gives us “herd immunity” faster,” said Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering.

Bhutan has 533,000 eligible population for COVID-19 vaccination and as of 3pm yesterday 495,028 individuals have registered for the COVID-19 vaccination.

Thukten Zangpo from Thimphu