Bhutan, nestled between India and China, has one of many world’s lowest COVID-19 fatality counts, with only one individual dying from the infectious illness for the reason that pandemic started.
Prime Minister Lotay Tshering – who can also be a training urologist – mentioned over 90% of the nation’s eligible inhabitants had acquired a primary dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and that the deadline to manage the second dose after a niche of 12 weeks was scheduled to finish this month.
“Understanding immunology, figuring out how our physique reacts to vaccines, I’m comfy to safe a second dose of any vaccine that’s, in fact, accepted by the WHO.”
Earlier this yr India offered 550,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Bhutan. However New Delhi has no surplus now to present to any nation as India exits the worst of a lethal wave of the coronavirus that doubled its loss of life toll in two months.
Tshering mentioned he has reached out to 17 different nations to safe recent vaccine provides and delays in procuring the second batch of AstraZeneca vaccine have made Bhutan’s political chief take into account mixing doses.
A number of nations, together with Canada and Spain, have already accepted mixing doses, primarily as a consequence of issues about uncommon and probably deadly blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.
A Spanish examine discovered that giving a dose of the Pfizer shot to individuals who had already acquired the AstraZeneca vaccine is extremely secure and efficient, in response to preliminary outcomes.
Tshering, 53, mentioned stopping extra deaths requires ongoing vigilance since Bhutan shares a porous border with India, which continues to report a excessive variety of day by day COVID-19 instances.
“I’ve no drawback in giving Moderna or Pfizer for the second dose … We have now reached out to these corporations,” he informed Reuters throughout a digital interview from his resort room within the capital metropolis of Thimphu.
“There are not any nations that do not face vaccine issues … I must be frank with my individuals,” he mentioned, talking about mixing doses and the scarcity of provides.
Tshering, who has been quarantining after his journey with the king to distant components of the mountain nation to satisfy frontline staff, mentioned he can be “the happiest individual” to take a second dose of any vaccine.
On Wednesday, Bhutan reported seven new instances prior to now 24 hours, taking its whole to 1,970 COVID-19 instances. ]