BHUTAN / COVID-19 VACCINATION CAMPAIGN

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27-Jul-2021 00:02:09
In a statement issued today, UNICEF hails Bhutan’s successful completion of full COVID-19 vaccinations for 90 per cent of the eligible population. UNICEF

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STORY: BHUTAN / COVID-19 VACCINATION CAMPAIGN
TRT: 2:15
SOURCE: UNICEF
LANGUAGE: NATS
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNICEF ON SCREEN

DATELINE: 20 JULY – 25 JULY 2021, MERAG, TRASHIGAN DISTRICT, EASTERN BHUTAN / LUNANA, GASA DISTRICT, NORTH WEST BHUTAN


SHOTLIST:

20 JULY – 1JULY 2021, MERAG, TRASHIGAN DISTRICT, EASTERN BHUTAN

1. Wide shot, health workers in PPE walk with a vaccine carrier and medical supplies from the Basic Health Unit (BHU) of Merag village
2.Wide shot, health worker walk through the village road.
3. Wide shot, residents queue to get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
4. Med shot, residents queue in front of the vaccination centre
5. Med shot, the health worker administers the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a male residents
6.Wide shot, female resident gets her shot of the second COVID-19 vaccine following which the community Centre’s staff notes the time of her vaccination on her wrist.

23 JULY 2021, LUNANA, GASA DISTRICT, NORTH WEST BHUTAN

7. Wide shot, helicopter approaches Lhedi village in Lunana.
8. Wide shot, residents of Lhedi village walk towards the helicopter to unload the vaccines.
9. Wide shot, Lunana’s first female health worker carries the vaccine carrier and walks towards the village.

23 JULY 2021, SAKTENG, TRASHIGANG DISTRICT, EASTERN BHUTAN

10. Wide shot, Establishment shot of Sakteng village.
11. Wide shot, Establishment shot of Sakteng village
12. Wide shot, Sakteng village’s Basic Health Unit (BHU)
13. Med shot, Entrance to the Sakteng BHU
14. Med shot, a resident in crutches arrives at the BHU while a police personal helps her with a chair and the Health Assistant registers her for the vaccine.
15. Med shot, health worker administers the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a male resident.
16. Med shot, health worker administers the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to a female resident.

STORYLINE:

In a statement issued today (27 Jul), UNICEF hails Bhutan’s successful completion of full COVID-19 vaccinations for 90 per cent of the eligible population.

The Statement was attributed to UNICEF Bhutan Representative Dr Will Parks.

"UNICEF Bhutan congratulates the Royal Government of Bhutan for completing the second phase of a nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign. As a result of exemplary efforts by the Government, 90 per cent of the eligible population in the country has been vaccinated. With home-based vaccination continuing until July 31, the coverage is likely to increase in the coming weeks.

A total of 2,401 health workers helped to vaccinate the eligible population with the second dose from 20 to 26 July across the country, arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic. The precision with which Bhutan conducted mass vaccination campaigns within a week is an extraordinary achievement.

The success is mainly due to the efforts that went into securing the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines and extensive preparations for the roll out of the vaccines using all forms of resources available in the country, including training health workers, and making people aware about the campaign in advance.

In particular, the Royal Government of Bhutan made exhaustive efforts to reach all target groups. Health workers organized vaccinations at community centres but also conducted home-visits to vaccinate the elderly and people with disabilities and trekked to higher altitudes to reach the nomadic herders. Children aged 12-17 years in the high-risk areas along the southern border towns are also receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families. The successes are testimony to Bhutan’s swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In such challenging times, the leadership of His Majesty The King, the blessings of His Holiness the Je Khenpo and the collective efforts of the Royal Government of Bhutan, local leaders, young people and development partners have been instrumental in Bhutan’s huge leap forward.

UNICEF and partners are honoured to have assisted the Royal Government of Bhutan in strengthening the cold chain system to store the vaccines. We have also provided critical logistical and operational support in fast-tracking the shipment of vaccines and injection devices to Bhutan. This includes arranging a chartered flight from the US to transport the vaccines and ramping up other vaccine shipments through commercial flights.

UNICEF’s expertise in securing and installing eight walk-in coolers and two ultra-cold chain fridges across the country while supporting risk communication and community engagement activities were catalytic in preparing for the rapid mass vaccination campaign.

Bhutan’s successful vaccination drive is a powerful example of how the donations of vaccines, secured bilaterally and multilaterally, can help protect and save lives. Two weeks ago, Bhutan received 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX, thanks to donations by the United States Government. Earlier this year, Bhutan also received 5,850 doses of Pfizer through COVAX. Other donations came in from China, Denmark, and India. More COVID-19 vaccines from Bulgaria and Croatia landed in Paro today.

As we celebrate the successes in Bhutan, we must not forget that the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over - for Bhutan, for its neighbours in the region and for the world. Public health safety measures such as physical distancing, handwashing with soap and wearing of masks are still important.

Vaccines will help us end the COVID-19 pandemic, but only if everyone has access to them. According to WHO’s summary of latest available official data, 4 million health workers in South Asia are still not fully vaccinated.

We are thankful to the commitment of the United States Government and other countries in coming forth at a critical time. UNICEF urges well supplied countries to continue to donate COVID-19 vaccines to COVAX, the international vaccine equity initiative, so that countries that are grappling with poor vaccination coverage and dangerous surges in infection rates can get the vaccines they so desperately need to save lives. Bhutan’s example also shows us that countries need greater funding in preparing for swift rollouts of vaccines and that preparatory efforts go a long way in reaching the remotest areas.

With the pandemic raging in the region, the virus still spreading in many countries and producing new variants, and vaccine shortages, we are still at risk of more or prolonged school closures, more healthcare disruptions, and a greater economic fallout – all of which threaten the futures of families and children everywhere.

As UNICEF continues to work with governments in ensuring the safety of the people and help societies build back better, to save lives and end the pandemic, the call to donate vaccines has never been more urgent.”
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