Myanmar Launches Covid Vaccination Drive, Prioritises Healthcare Workers
Myanmar launched a COVID-19 vaccination programme on Wednesday, with healthcare staff and volunteer medical workers the first to receive shots of the AstraZeneca and Oxford University vaccine donated by India.
Myanmar managed to contain the number of COVID-19 cases early in the pandemic, but is now fighting a second wave, recording more than 138,000 cases and 3,082 deaths.
Last week, Myanmar received 1.5 million doses of the vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, just as China has also pledged vaccine consignments.
"This should create a situation to reduce the rate of infection, so it is such a relief for healthcare workers," Tun Myint, a health ministry official at Yangon General Hospital, told reporters.
The number of daily new COVID-19 cases has dropped recently, though medical experts say it is unlikely to provide a full picture given relatively low testing rates.
"We are so tired from the long fight" against the pandemic, said volunteer medical worker Khant Ko Ko, who received a vaccine shot at the Ayeyarwady Centre in Yangon where coronavirus patients are treated.