Vaccination plays an important role against Covid-19: Dr Sithar Dorjee

The 16th death due to Covid-19 was recorded on April 13

With almost everyone who died from Covid-19 in the country being either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, a member of the Health Ministry’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), Dr Sithar Dorjee said vaccination plays an important role against Covid-19.

“There is a big difference whether you have received a booster vaccination or not,” he said.

“We see a significant difference in the severity of the Omicron between people who are fully vaccinated versus single dose, and the unvaccinated versus third dose. If you are unvaccinated beyond the third dose, the risk of death is 76% times that of your peers. Based on the deaths reported in the country, we can find out,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has always urged every eligible person to get jabbed, saying that individuals who haven’t vaccinated should come forward for Covid-19 vaccination to prevent complications from Covid-19.

There are around 640 individuals above 60, who have not received a single dose, according to the MoH.

While the MoH has not done proper assessment on why some people are not taking up the vaccines, the proportion of people not taking the vaccines is very less (about 640 individuals only).

Nonetheless, officials from the MoH said that they are trying to encourage these people too unless they are medically unfit for vaccination.  

According to the health ministry, out of the 16 individuals who died with Covid-19, 11 individuals were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and only five individuals received their booster doses. There are high mortalities amongst those who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated.

In the latest notification issued by the MoH, the ministry urged the general public to come forward to avail the Covid-19 vaccination services and the booster doses.

“It is proven that Covid-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and medical complications amongst those infected by the virus,” states the notification.

“It is particularly important for comorbid and elderly individuals to get vaccinated as these groups are more vulnerable to severe disease and other medical complications from Covid-19.”

In an earlier interview with Business Bhutan, Dr Sithar Dorjee said that individuals who received the 3rd booster dose are six times less likely to die than individuals who received the 2nd dose. Most individuals dying of the Omicron in other countries are unvaccinated (9 out of 10 deaths are not vaccinated).

Meanwhile, the first death recorded due to Covid-19 in the country was when a 34-year old man suffering from chronic liver disease and renal failure died after testing positive for coronavirus on January 7, 2021. He was not vaccinated.

The 16th death due to Covid-19 in the country was recorded just three days back on April 13 after a 58-year-old woman died at the Mongar Covid-19 Hospital. The deceased had hypertension, chronic kidney disease stage 5, aplastic anemia and other underlying medical conditions. She received only one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. 

Chencho Dema from Punakha