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Bhutan vaccinates 60% of the population against COVID in record time | News on the coronavirus pandemic

The small Himalayan kingdom wedged between India and China reports that 470,000 out of 770,000 people received the first injection of a vaccine given by India.

Bhutan said on Wednesday it had given around 60% of its entire population the first blow against COVID-19 since the Himalayan kingdom launched an ambitious vaccination campaign nine days ago.

The small country wedged between India and China told AFP news agency that 470,000 people out of a total of 770,000 received the first injection of a two-dose regimen of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine given by the India.

Its rapid deployment places Bhutan far ahead of other leading countries to reach the 60% mark, including Seychelles, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, according to an AFP analysis.

When the Bhutan campaign was launched on March 27, it set the rapid target of vaccinating 533,000 adults – excluding pregnant women, new mothers, people with certain health conditions and critically ill patients – by only one week.

However, the nation, famous for measuring gross national happiness, has extended its deadline by several weeks.

A spokesperson for the health ministry told AFP that health workers are now focusing on vaccinating those over 70, as well as residents with disabilities.

The country has recorded 896 COVID-19 infections and one death to date.

Israel has set the world’s first per capita rate for vaccinations in a two-dose regimen, having already administered the two injections of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to more than half of its population.

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