Myanmar launched a COVID-19 vaccination programme on Wednesday January 27, prioritizing healthcare staff and volunteer medical workers the first to receive shots of the AstraZeneca and Oxford University vaccine donated by neighbouring India. Myanmar which is successful in containing first wave is battling hard for the second wave, recording more than 138,000 cases and 3,082 deaths.
Tun Myint, a health ministry official examining vaccinations at the Yangon General Hospital, told reporters, “This should create a situation to reduce the rate of infection, so it is such a relief for healthcare workers". Myanmar received 1.5 million doses of the vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India last week. However, in recent days the number of Positive cases reducing gradually. “We are so tired from the long fight” against the pandemic, said volunteer medical worker Khant Ko Ko, who received a vaccine shot at the Ayeyarwady Centre, a facility in Yangon where coronavirus patients are treated.
Myanmar’s healthcare system has relied largely on thousands of volunteers to assist during the pandemic outbreak. Phone Min Khant, another volunteer, said he felt happy to get the vaccine and is happy that Myanmar was among the first countries in Southeast Asia to launch an immunisation drive. The health ministry has said, " The next group of people due to be inoculated will be members of parliament on Friday and Saturday". Myanmar targets to inoculate its 54 million people this year has ordered 30 million additional doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine of which 2 million due to arrive by February first week.