Nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign for children aged five to 11 begins

The nationwide COVID-19 vaccination campaign for five to 11-year-olds began yesterday. A girl child born in the year of bird received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Jigme Namgyel Lower Secondary School in Thimphu at 10:30 AM, marking the rollout.

The event is determined by astrological recommendations. And five-year-old Tandin Lhamo befitted the occasion. She came with her father. All five to 11 years old will get the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

“I am very happy today. Among all the children, my daughter was selected as the first, so I feel happy. It is the first time the children are getting the COVID-19 vaccine. So, I don’t know how it would help but I am hopeful,” said Shekar Dorji, a parent.

“My daughter is 11 years old. Today, I feel very happy and safe. I feel the vaccine will help prevent the virus from spreading. I have heard that children in many other countries are already vaccinated. The vaccine has benefited them. So, I am thankful to the government and the King for bringing in the vaccines,” said Tshering Yangki, another parent.

And candy was enough to distract the little ones who are usually scared of injection.

“My name is Ingchukma and I got my vaccine today. And I am feeling fine”.

“It kind of felt like a scratch from a cat. But I will feel better in a while,” said Tandin Dorji.

The Health Minister also brought her son for the vaccine.

“I am delighted because we can vaccinate our children. My son is 10 years old. And like many adults who have a pre-existing medical condition, I have brought him here today because the vaccine will help.”

Some 30 children were vaccinated yesterday in Thimphu. There are more than 83,000 children in this age group. Almost 66,000 children have registered for the vaccine so far. In Thimphu, the vaccine will be rolled out in Zones from today.

Tshering Dendup

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