The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90% of its eligible adult population within just seven days, informed its health ministry on Tuesday.
The country that is wedged between India and China is a home to nearly 8,00,000 people, started administrating the second doses on July 20 in a mass drive that has been welcomed by Unicef as “arguably the fastest vaccination campaign to be executed during a pandemic.”
When the Bhutanese government said it had vaccinated around the same percentage of eligible adults with the first dose in under two weeks after India donated 5,50,000 shots of AstraZeneca vaccine, Bhutan grabbed headlines in April. For months after India stopped exports as infections increased at home, Bhutan faced a shortage.
Bhutan was able to resume its vaccination drive last week after half a million doses of Moderna vaccine arrived from the US as a donation under the UN-backed COVAX programme. Some 5,000 shots of Pfizer were also facilitated through COVAX.
It also received more than 4,00,000 AstraZeneca shots from Denmark, Croatia and Bulgaria in the last two weeks.
Health minister Dechen Wangmo said, “Our aim is to achieve herd immunity among our population in the shortest possible time to avert a health crisis.”