Bhutan soon surpassed Israel, the USA, Bahrain and other countries known to rapidly vaccinate people against the corona virus (Covid-19). It took months for the countries in question to reach their location in the face of rising corona virus cases. But Bhutan’s vaccination campaign is almost over, just 16 days after it started.
Bhutan, a small Himalayan kingdom sandwiched between India and China, has vaccinated around 93 percent of its adult population since March 27. Overall, the country has vaccinated 62 percent of its 800,000-strong population.
The rapid spread of the vaccine in Bhutan placed it just behind the Seychelles, which vaccinated 66 percent of its population of approximately 100,000.
However, its small population helped Bhutan move fast, but its success was also attributed to its dedicated volunteers known as “desuups” and the installed cold chain storages used during previous vaccination studies.
Bhutan received the first 150,000 doses of the AstraZeneca / Oxford vaccine from neighboring India in January, but doses were distributed from late March to coincide with important dates in Buddhist astrology.
The first dose was administered by a woman born in the Year of the Monkey, accompanied by hymns of Buddhist prayers.
Ninda Dema, 30, who was vaccinated for the first time in the country, said, “May this small step I take today help us all get rid of this disease.”
Dr. Pandup Tshering said they have enough doses of vaccine to cover the entire population of the country.
On the other hand, Bhutan has recorded 910 cases and one death from Covid-19 since the pandemic began. The country also imposes a mandatory 21-day quarantine on all those coming from abroad. Tshering said that all schools and educational institutions are open and are monitored for compliance with Covid-19 protocols.
Bhutan, the last remaining Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas, made the transition from an absolute monarchy to a democratic, constitutional monarchy on December 17, 1907.