In early April, within a week, Bhutan Managed The first dose of the coronavirus vaccine for nearly the entire adult population, becoming one of the states with the highest vaccination rate in the world. Bhutan, a small Asian country at the eastern end of the Himalayan mountain range, surrounded by India three-quarters and north of China, received the first 150,000 doses of the Coffeeshield vaccine (the name AstraZeneca comes with) Made in India by the Serum Institute), And another 400,000 doses in March.
However, he initially decided not to use the doses received and to wait. He also narratedeconomicAnd the The government had consulted Zhung Dratshang, an institution made up of Buddhist monks with a very important role in the state: Bhutan has a form of Tibetan Buddhism as the state religion (called Mahayana) and the clergy also play an integral role in choice politics.
At the time of the consultation, the monks said that the stars did not help to initiate vaccinations and that it was better to wait two months and make sure that the first dose was given to a woman born in the year of the monkey in the Tibetan calendar, and that it was always administered by a woman born in the same year.
Then the vaccinations began at 9:30 pm on March 27, amid hymns, prayers and other auspicious rituals.
Since then, the vaccination campaign has continued rapidly, and on April 8, the Ministry of Health announced that it had given the first dose of the vaccine to more than 470,000 people, or about 93 percent of those who were eligible, or about 60 per hundred of those eligible. The entire population of Bhutan and 85 percent of the adult population. Only two countries gave the first dose to a larger proportion of the population, Seychelles and Israel, but it took several months, not just a week, to do so.
The vaccination campaign in Bhutan has been as effective as efforts to combat the spread of the epidemic in the country. In fact, so far, 918 cases of coronavirus and only one death have been detected in Bhutan. Prime Minister Lutai Chering’s government effectively responded to the epidemic early on, enforcing a 21-day quarantine on all people entering the country, keeping schools open but strictly checking compliance with restrictions. Even the king, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, had to isolate himself after making an official trip to Bangladesh.
Chering said choosing to focus vaccines in just one week could turn the vaccination campaign into a national event, get more people involved and override the logistical problems involved in storing and delivering the vaccine.