Vientiane/UNI/Xinhua: People in Laos have been encouraged to acquire a Covid-19 vaccine booster to improve their immunity and meet the requirements for applying for foreign travel.

According to the local daily Vientiane Times, having booster injections (the third or fourth vaccination) is a condition for applying for foreign travel.

The announcement comes as the administration considers fully reopening the country to both Laotians and foreign visitors.

The National Taskforce Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control is now seeking public input on the proposed openness of Laos borders to all Lao and foreign nationals.

The information gathered will be included in a proposal that will be presented to the government for approval.

A booster dose is required when requesting for permission to travel to another country, according to Phonepaserd Sayamoungkhoun, deputy director-general of the Lao Ministry of Health’s Department of Communicable Diseases Control.

In Laos, booster immunisation uptake is still low, with 19.4 percent of the population receiving the vaccine.

Phonepaserd advised anyone eligible for a booster dosage to get vaccinated in order to increase Covid-19 immunity and make it easier to apply for permission to participate in various activities.

According to the task group, about 70% of the population has been fully vaccinated to date.

The task team wants to push the government to reopen the country following a gradual drop in the number of Covid-19 infections and deaths, while the economy, particularly the tourism industry, is in desperate need of recovery.

As of Wednesday, there has been 2,08,111 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Laos, with 746 deaths.

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