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Bhutan Vaccinates 90% of Population…in a Week

Bhutan Vaccinates 90% of Population…in a Week

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has fully vaccinated 90 per cent of its adult population in a week. The tiny country between India and China has a population of less than 800,000 and received vaccines via foreign donations, according to its health ministry.

Speaking to the AFP news agency, UNICEF’s Bhutan representative Will Parks said the ambitious vaccination drive is a “great success story for Bhutan”.

“We really need a world in which the countries which have surplus vaccines really do donate to those countries that haven’t received [shots] so far,” he said.

“And if there’s anything that I hope the world that can learn, is that a country like Bhutan with very few doctors, very few nurses but a really committed king and leadership in the government mobilising society – it’s not impossible to vaccinate the whole country.”

The tiny kingdom, which is famous for measuring ‘gross national happiness,’ received over 750,000 doses of Astra Zeneca and 500,000 doses of Moderna plus extra doses of Pfizer and Sinopharm following an appeal for donations.

Bhutan has been relatively unaffected by Covid-19, with only 2,500 reported cases and two deaths so far.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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