Lao gov't advises public to get COVID-19 booster shots

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 4, 2022
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VIENTIANE, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Lao health authorities have advised members of the public to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster to strengthen their immunity and meet the criteria needed to apply for foreign travel.

Having booster shots (the third or fourth vaccination) is a requirement for application for foreign travel, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Wednesday.

It comes as the government is considering fully reopening the country to travel for both Lao and foreign nationals.

The National Taskforce Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control is currently canvassing opinion from the general public, including foreign expatriates in Laos, over the proposed reopening of the country's borders to all Lao and foreign citizens.

The input gained will be included in a proposal to be submitted to the government for consideration.

Phonepaserd Sayamoungkhoun, deputy director-general of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control under the Lao Ministry of Health, said that a booster dose was a requirement when applying for permission to travel to another country.

Booster vaccination uptake remains low in Laos, with the coverage currently standing at 19.4 percent of the population.

Phonepaserd advised everyone eligible for a booster dose to come forward for vaccination in order to strengthen immunity to COVID-19 and facilitate application for permission to undertake various activities.

To date, almost 70 percent of the population have been fully vaccinated, according to the taskforce.

The taskforce said it plans to ask the government to reopen the country following a steady decline of the number of infections and deaths from COVID-19, while there is an urgent need to revitalize the economy, especially the tourism industry.

As of Wednesday, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laos stood at 208,111 with 746 deaths. Enditem

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