The danger is shaping up in the most worrying face—complacency.
Covid-19 is not going to go away easily. People are talking about the possible lifestyle changes due to the pandemic. The change is already here; we have been coping with the many variants of the virus.
The thing is that with new variants we will have to deal differently, efficaciously, and quickly. It has not been an easy task. In the coming days, it could get worse. That’s what the science says.
Bhutan is a small country. It has been relatively easy for us to get the vaccines and to inoculate a large number of our population. We have even begun to welcome international tourists to the country.
But this is not the time to go easy.
What are our people thinking after the nation administered the second dose of vaccine to the country’s eligible population? Ease the movement of people inside the country and open the borders.
International borders should remain closed even if movements inside the country can be eased.
The vaccines do not protect us fully from the menacing virus; it only gives us some immunity. What we must remember is that we have been able to give vaccine shots to only about 46,000 children between the ages of 12 and 17 years.
What percentage of our people have received the jab is not important; what happens or could happen after all these is.
As per the National Statistics Bureau’s (NSB) adjusted projected population for 2021, there are 75,960 children between the ages of 12 and 17 years in the country.
We have a long way to go before taking it very easy.
According to the health ministry, close to 10,000 children are yet to receive vaccine shots. In a small, landlocked and vulnerable country, this number is huge.
For example, with over 5,500 children, Trashigang has the highest number of children, followed by Trashiyangtse with 2,289 children. Haa has 1,675 children in this age group.
The government has done very well in containing the spread of the virus and its deadly variants. The good news is that the government is positive that the vaccination target can be achieved.
The government, as we are told, has placed a request for over 145,000 Moderna and 200,000 doses of Pfizer vaccines from the United States.
The vaccines might or might not come in the right time but what we need to know is that vaccines will not be enough in this continuing fight. If we become complacent because of vaccine shots, this will be our greatest source of defeat.
Standing protocols and measures must not be eased or ignored. Our focus has to be in keeping everything strong and tight.