Thimphu residents will have to avail vaccines from respective zones

Yangchen C Rinzin

All individuals who have registered for Covid-19 vaccine in Thimphu must go to the vaccination station allocated in their respective zones. 

The Covid-19 vaccination programme will start on March 27 across the country. 

This means the earlier programme where people were assigned vaccination location and dates provided through the online registration portal is now cancelled, according to the senior programme officer Sangay Phuntsho. 

Sangay Phuntsho said that it was decided to provide vaccines through the respective zones, since during the assignment of vaccination location and dates, there were several confusions among people like some families from the same households were given different vaccination location. 

“There were errors during the allocation of vaccination stations based on the details provided during the registration for vaccination,” he said. “Some people were assigned location far from their homes so, we had to change the strategy to roll out the vaccines.” 

The vaccines will now be provided in 28 different vaccination stations identified in 15 super zones and 44 zones. 

The zoning system, ac- cording to the National Zoning Taskforce, will be the same as identified during the second nationwide lockdown last year. 

A zoning team member, Tashi Penjore, said that there are about 72,000 eligible people registered for the vaccine in Thimphu and based on the number of population and weeklong vaccination pro-gramme, the team has created vaccination stations. 

There will be about 76 vaccination teams that will administer the vaccines. 

Tashi Penjore said that there would be three different timings to visit the stations, which is as per the timing mentioned in the movement card issued during the lockdown for respective zones. “This is to ensure that crowds are controlled.” 

Individuals can visit the vaccination stations from 9am-11am with the morning card, 12pm-2pm for the afternoon card, and 2pm-4pm for the evening card. Those who do not have a movement card can visit stations from 4pm-5pm. 

Those who have not registered can register on spot at the stations and get the jab. 

People should carry either a citizenship identity card or driving license, or work permit if non-Bhutanese. 

Sangay Phuntsho said that even if a person does not have any documents they can still come and they would be facilitated to register and those with a medical condition should also carry their prescriptions. 

Once the person gets the jab at the centre, the person will be kept in the observation room for 30 minutes and will be asked to take note of the doctor’s number to report if they experience any adverse effect. 

Sangay Phuntsho said that some schools have been identified as vaccination stations across the country and these schools would remain closed during the week-long vaccination programme. However, other schools and institutions will operate as usual. 

“The reason for identifying some schools were based on the space and convenience,” he said. “All inter-dzongkhag movement will be restricted, except for emergency and for those who got the jab and those who are ineligible for the vaccine.” 

There will be no change in the seven-day mandatory quarantine to travel from high risk to low risk even after vaccination is completed. 

All health workers and active frontline workers who are engaged in the vaccination campaign will be vaccinated after the seven days’ vaccination campaign. The rest would be vaccinated with the general population. 

While around 1,200 individuals identified with mobility issues will be provided vaccine through home-based vaccination, vaccination will be provided in a health facility for those above 70 years, but only after the vaccination campaign is over. 

A total of 505,710 people have registered for the vaccines across the country as of 5pm yesterday.