Residents Voice Concern Over Mishandling of Pfizer Vaccinations

Laos to receive Pfizer vaccine soon

Residents in Vientiane Capital have expressed dissatisfaction with the rollout of Pfizer vaccines after some members of priority groups missed out on vaccines.

Pfizer vaccines arrived in Vientiane Capital on 2 June as part of donations by the COVAX initiative and were prioritized for the elderly and for those with underlying health conditions, according to a statement by the National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control.

But a resident of Vientiane Capital told the Laotian Times that his mother, who is over 60 years of age, missed out on a Pfizer vaccine despite enrolling at the local village office.

He said that several elderly people had been awaiting Pfizer vaccinations at the district hospital after completing registration last week.

“Many older people, including my mother, were given Sinopharm instead of Pfizer because medical workers told them that Pfizer vaccines had run out,” he said.

The shipment of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines that arrived in Laos this month contained some 100,620 doses and was to be provided to three priority groups, including medical personnel, the elderly, and people with underlying medical conditions.

Online registration for vaccinations now available in Laos (Photo: Unicef)
A man receives a Covid-19 vaccination in Laos (Photo: Unicef)

Another resident told Laotian Times that she was unhappy to see public posts on social media by young and healthy people receiving a Pfizer vaccine while her father, a member of the priority group, had missed out.

Meanwhile, the Chinese government has confirmed that Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccines can be used to vaccinate the elderly.

Deputy Director of the Vientiane Capital Provincial Health Department, Dr. Bounthavy Dedbandith, says the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health have now given the green light to vaccinate Lao citizens over 60 years of age with the Sinopharm vaccine, as well as those with underlying health conditions.