Booster dose vaccination in Thimphu to resume soon

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), booster dose vaccination will resume in small cohorts when Thimphu transition to Mega Zone wise movement

Following the lockdown in Thimphu on February 22, the flu clinics and health centers around Thimphu suspended providing booster doses for the general public.

However, the Ministry of Health (MoH), in a notification issued on Thursday, stated that booster dose vaccination will resume in small cohorts when Thimphu transitions to Mega Zone wise movement.

Meanwhile, the MoH stopped providing booster doses to the residents of Thimphu Thromde due to an increase in the number of community cases in Thimphu, which prompted another lockdown.

According to the MoH’s focal person, while the focus remains on increasing the number of people receiving the booster, the current situation in the country, where an increasing number of Covid cases are detected daily, it makes it difficult to resume the booster at this time and also given that one of the measures is to stop gathering.

“If we continue to deliver the booster within the zones, then there will undoubtedly be widespread virus transmission because we still don’t know who is infected and who is not, following the surge in community cases in the capital,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the booster doses were rolled out in December last year for priority groups, which included adults who are 18 years and above residing in high risk areas, those above 65 years, and people with chronic medical conditions.

However, due to the rising case of the Omicron in the country, the MoH decided to provide booster jabs for all during the lockdown, which was otherwise scheduled later.

According to the focal person of the flu clinic in Thimphu, the main reason for stopping the booster doses in Thimphu was to prevent people from moving as the health ministry is still tracing the primary contacts of cases from the community.

He added, “People have been calling to inquire about the booster dose. While doses are available within the zones during the recent lockdown, it has been suspended until further notice from the health ministry as the ministry may need time to study the situation in the capital before deciding to resume the booster jabs for the public.”

Meanwhile, the MoH has been reminding everyone to get the booster jabs as the vaccine remains the most effective method for protecting against the COVID-19 and terminating the pandemic, and even if a variant like Omicron is more transmissible than the earlier forms.

According to figures maintained by the MoH, 87.2 % of the population over the age of 18 have received the third booster doses so far. 

Tshering Pelden from Thimphu