VIENTIANE, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- With COVID-19 infection rates rising in the northern and southern provinces, Lao health authorities are speeding up the vaccination program with a focus on Bokeo, Savannakhet and Champasak provinces.
According to local daily Vientiane Times report on Tuesday, infections rates have been highest in these areas because of their shared borders with neighboring countries and the influx of returning migrant workers, many of whom have brought the virus with them.
The Center of Information and Education for Health under the Lao Ministry of Health reported that, as of Sunday, 2,131,014 people across the country had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 1,668,064 people have had two doses.
Head of the Savannakhet provincial Department of Health, Sengdao Sydalay, told the daily that the department is working to vaccinate people across the province.
"We have been given 422,180 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. To date, 215,145 people have received their first jab, equal to 19.81 percent of the eligible population, and 135,143 people have had two jabs, equal to 12.46 percent. We hope to have vaccinated 50 percent of everyone in the province by the end of 2021," Sengdao said.
Head of the Bokeo provincial Department of Health, Bounyaveth Vongkhamxao, said "The department is working with health authorities in many districts of the province to vaccinate people, with a focus on Huayxai district, the provincial capital. Everyone is aware of the need to be vaccinated and many people are coming forward each day."
"They are also aware of the rules in place to prevent the spread of the virus and how to protect themselves. I call on everyone in Laos, especially in Bokeo province, to make sure they get two doses of a vaccine," he added.
The Lao Ministry of National Defense on Monday received another 400,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the sixth batch of China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine. Enditem