More than 400 traveling abroad given second dose of Covid-19 vaccine

The second dose of the vaccine will be rolled out in the country during the third week of this month

The government has started administering the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to those individuals traveling abroad and who have completed the eight-week interval.

During the Meet-The-Press session on Friday, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that the government has offered the second dose of the vaccine only to those individuals traveling abroad. 

Lyonchhen said that the government has offered only the AstraZeneca vaccine for the travelers travelling abroad. 

Health Minister Dasho Dechen Wangmo said that so far more than 400 individuals have received the second dose of the vaccine. 

Lyonpo mentioned that those individuals traveling abroad are mostly students going back to schools and colleges, people who are leaving for their works and people living abroad who have got their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as the country that they are going to is providing a different vaccine. 

“The main precondition is that they are going outside,” Lyonpo said. 

The process of receiving the second dose of vaccine is that an individual has​ to first get​ an approval from the National COVID-19 Taskforce Team. 

The documents required are passport copy, visa travel insurance, and offer letters. According to the officials, individuals are traveling to Canada, India, Thailand, and there are individuals working in the UN. An individual has to write an undertaking letter stating the reasons for traveling abroad. 

The minister mentioned that the letter has to come to the MoH and then the second dose is administered upon the approval of the National Taskforce Team giving clearance to travel. 

Similarly, Lyonchhen mentioned that the second dose of the vaccine will be rolled out in the country within this month (possibly on 19th, 20th or 21st of this month and on an auspicious day). 

Lyonchhen also mentioned that to get herd immunity in the country around 80% of the populations need to get vaccinated. 

However, the NITAG is yet to decide who will get AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna during the second dose of the nationwide vaccination. 

Meanwhile, Bhutan has secured more than 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine from European Union countries like Denmark, Bulgaria, and Croatia, among others. Additionally, the country has also secured 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine from the United States.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu