Authorities Address Rumor of Paid Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations in Thoulakhom District

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Villagers receive vaccines in Thoulakhom District
Villagers receive vaccines in Thoulakhom District (Photo: Lao National Radio)

Authorities have clarified a rumor that medical personnel in Vientiane Province’s Thoulakhom District kept Johnson & Johnson vaccines for sale and were paid to help people jump vaccinations queues.

According to a report by Lao National Radio, rumors that medical workers sold Johnson & Johnson vaccines and accepted bribes to move people to the front of queues are untrue.

Director of the Thoulakhom District Health Office, Dr. Ding Luengxay, says authorities administered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to priority groups, including people above 60 years of age and people with underlying health conditions in 42 villages across the district.

Authorities have distributed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in line with the number of priority groups indicated in each village, with 150 doses of vaccine supplied to some large villages and 50-100 doses provided to smaller villages, says Dr. Ding Luengxay.

“Some people who did not fall into priority categories but hoped to get vaccinated, and when they did not get their way, they began to slander health officials,” said Dr. Ding.

Last week, authorities in Vientiane Province rolled out Johnson & Johnson vaccines to some 80,000 individuals in the province, mostly the elderly and those with underlying conditions.