A medical worker receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Yangon General Hospital in Yangon, Myanmar, Jan. 27, 2021. Myanmar launched a COVID-19 vaccination program across the country on Wednesday. The vaccination program started with medical staff who are working in the frontline in the country's regions and states. (Xinhua/Zhang Dongqiang)
YANGON, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar launched a COVID-19 vaccination program across the country on Wednesday.
The vaccination program started with medical staff who are working in the frontline in the country's regions and states.
Myanmar recently received the first batch of 1.5 million doses of Covishield vaccine, which will be enough for 750,000 people.
Frontline health workers and volunteers are given priority to be inoculated from Wednesday, followed by parliamentarians from Friday, according to a statement from the Health and Sports Ministry.
As the first phase of the program, over 3,800 medical staff of public health department and hospitals are being vaccinated in Myanmar's capital of Nay Pyi Taw on Wednesday.
About 25,459 medical staff and health workers dealing with COVID-19 patients and those from the public health department of Yangon region will be vaccinated from Wednesday, said Tun Myint, deputy director-general of Yangon Region's Public Health Department.
"The vaccine is a light relief for us, frontline medics, as it may help decrease the infections in number," he said.
He also urged the public to continue non-pharmaceutical interventions even after getting inoculated.
Vaccines will be distributed to the public since Feb. 5, along with the members of union-level and regional or state-level governments, the statement said.
The priorities will be given to the elderly, people with underlying diseases and people residing in the high density of population.
The vaccines will be given in two doses and the second dose will follow 28 days after the first shot.
According to the ministry, about 2 million doses of Covishield vaccine will arrive in the country in the first week of next month, followed by many more batches.
The COVID-19 was first detected in Myanmar on March 23 last year and the number of positive cases reached 138,368, while its death toll was recorded at 3,082 as of late Tuesday. Enditem