However, vaccines will be made available for certain groups

Staff Reporter  

Starting November 1, Covid-19 vaccinations for walk-in individuals aged 12 years and above will be discontinued, according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) issued yesterday.

According to the press release, this move was in keeping with the fact that most of the eligible and consenting population have been vaccinated, as well as the challenges related to vaccine logistics.

However, the Ministry of Health (MoH) will continue to administer Covid-19 vaccines for children when they turn 12 years old, and for all those who enter the country with unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated (single dose).

The ministry will also provide the second dose of vaccine for those who have received their first dose. “A second dose for those aged 12 to 17 years will be provided in the second and third week of October,” stated the press release. This will take the total vaccine coverage to about 80 percent.

People who were unable to receive the vaccine so far due to unavoidable social or health reasons, such as acute illness, or being pregnant or breastfeeding, will also receive the vaccine.

“We would like to reiterate here that the vaccine is safe for pregnant and lactating women, and many have already come forward to be vaccinated. Unless specified otherwise by the treating physician, there are no medical conditions that restrict individuals from taking the Covid-19 vaccination,” stated the press release.

All eligible individuals who have not yet received the vaccine are encouraged to get vaccinated within this month.

The press release stated that the government would also arrange vaccines for children below 12 years, as and when the international and national regulatory bodies approve the vaccines for that age group.

For now, the government has not encouraged booster shots beyond the second dose. However, it stated that should there be any major changes in the global Covid-19 vaccine scenario and trends, the government would consider arranging a vaccination campaign (third dose) for the entire population.

“We encourage everyone to continue practising healthy habits, including handwashing, wearing masks, and keeping away from crowds to avoid potential threats, as the pandemic persists with the same risks.”

Edited by Tshering Palden