onsdag 28. juli 2021

Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan vaccinates 90% of its population, becoming a beacon of hope for a region struggling with Covid

Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90% of its eligible adult population in a week with Covid-19 shots, a feat that has been described as a "success story" and a "beacon of hope" for other countries in the region, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday.

The tiny South Asian kingdom of 770,00 people is nestled in high in the Himalayas between India and China, and its high altitude, remote mountain villages, nomadic herders and extreme weather posed unique challenges to health workers delivering the vaccines safely across the country. The rollout campaign of second doses, which began on July 20, involved months of preparation that included setting up cold chain storage facilities in difficult to reach health clinics, deploying a helicopter to deliver vaccines to the more remote locations, and an army of volunteers distributing the vaccines along mountain footpaths.

By Tuesday, about 480,000 people had been vaccinated out of an eligible population of 530,000 people, UNICEF's Bhutan representative Will Parks said from the capital Thimphu, adding that it was "arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic."