Nima | Gelephu

With the second mass vaccination campaign beginning today, the people of Gongduegang chiwog in Jigmecholing in Sarpang will have to walk for more than two hours to reach the vaccination post at Gakidling Primary Health Centre (PHC).

The farm roads in the chiwog are in poor conditions and the streams swell during monsoon, making it difficult for the vehicles to ply.

The designated vaccination post for the people from Gongduegang and Gongtshekha is at Gakidling PHC, which would remain open till July 22. The expected eligible population at the vaccination post is 670.

However, the local government officials from the gewog say that it would be difficult for the elderlies to travel to the vaccination post, having to cross several swollen streams along the way in summer.

Jigmecholing gup, Kumar Gurung, said that it would take at least a week to have all the eligible population vaccinated from the chiwog.

“Many would be with the cattle, away from home. It took almost two weeks to have all elderlies and people with mobility problems vaccinated for the first dose after the mass vaccination period,” he said.

He added that the people are more confident to receive the second dose this time.

During the first dose of the mass vaccination campaign, Jigmecholing had one of the least number of people who came for vaccination with 88 percent turnover. The lowest was in Singye Gewog with an 87 percent turnover, according to the record with dzongkhag.

Kumar Gurung said that all elderlies and people with mobility problems were covered during the home visit and follows the program; almost all the eligible population vaccinated within 10 days after the vaccination campaign.

“For the second dose too, it would be difficult to get all vaccinated within July 22. Some would come in turn for vaccination. It would take at least 10 days to have all eligible population vaccinated in the gewog,” said the gup.

Sarpang started to distribute vaccines to over 45 vaccination posts from Sunday and the vaccination posts close to Gelephu central regional hospital would receive the vaccine in the morning today, according to the officials from the dzongkhag.

Sarpang received over 26, 160 Moderna, 46,090 Covishield, and 240 doses of Sinopharm vaccines for the second mass vaccination campaign.

Dzongkhag health officer, Tshering Penjore, said that the number of days for the respective vaccination post was allotted as per the population.

“Officials at the vaccination post need at least two days for the follow-up and home visits, which would cover elderlies, people with mobility problems, and persons with disabilities,” he said.

With most of the health officials assigned for the duty in various vaccination posts, OPD chambers at Gelephu CRRH would remain open from 9 AM till 12:30 PM from today till July 26.

Flu clinic remains closed; endoscopy and echocardiography services are suspended during the vaccination period safe for the emergency surgeries and planned elective surgeries, according to the press release from CRRH.

The dzongkhag plans to vaccinate over 42,600 population across 45 vaccination post in a week.

Edited by Jigme Wangchuk