Lao gov't mulls possible rollout of third dose of COVID-19 vaccine

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, September 15, 2021
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VIENTIANE, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Lao health authorities are considering the option of a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the future, to further boost human body’s immune system against new COVID-19 strains such as the Delta variant, local media reported Wednesday.

Studies are underway in Laos on the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to prevent the new variants from taking hold, in close cooperation with the World Health Organization, the Vientiane Times daily said.

Director General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control under the Lao Ministry of Health, Rattanaxay Phetsouvanh, on Tuesday told the newspaper that studies are taking place to try to determine whether a third-dose COVID-19 vaccine would boost immunity.

There are concerns that the spike in COVID-19 cases in Laos and numerous other countries is attributable to the spread of the more infectious Delta variant, which was first detected in India.

Many people have expressed interest in a booster shot or third vaccination but at this stage there is no scientific evidence provided by the WHO or the Lao Ministry of Health supporting the use of a booster shot for extra immunity, Rattanaxay said.

The ministry has received reports that some people in Laos have attempted to get a booster shot at vaccination centers despite the fact that the government has yet to approve it, he added.

Some countries are starting to offer third doses to older people. A third dose for people of all ages could ultimately be used to generate optimal immunity against COVID-19.

Some preprint studies suggest immunity can modestly decline by about three months after the second dose.

As of Sunday, some 2,663,816 people in at-risk groups in Laos have received their first vaccination, while 1,865,187 people have received a second dose, according to the National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

As of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Laos reached 17,905 with 16 deaths.

A total of 13,655 COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Laos reported its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 23 last year. Enditem

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