As of March 15, more than 40,700 people across the country of Laos have been given the first doses of Covid-19 vaccine, a media report said.

The vaccination prioritizes risk groups such as front line workers, medical workers, immigration officials and those working at border checkpoints, the Xinhua news reported.

The report quoted Deputy Director of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Lao Ministry of Health, Latsamy Vongkhamsao as saying to media on Thursday that vaccinating people against Covid-19 is a priority of the health sector.

The vaccinated included over 13,000 medical workers, over 22,700 members of risk groups, more than 600 people travelling abroad, more than 200 people aged 60 years and older, 31 people with congenital diseases and over 4,000 other front line officials.

The second round of vaccinations will take place from mid-March to early April, said a former media report.

It is anticipated that about 20 per cent of the Lao population, or about 1.6 million people, will be vaccinated in 2021. Vaccination coverage is expected to rise to 50 percent of the population by 2022 and to 70 percent in 2023, with more people to be vaccinated in the following years, according to the National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control of the country.

As of Friday, Laos has reported 49 Covid-19 infected cases, and the country detected its first two Covid-19 cases on March 24 last year.

–IANS

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