Laos, Philippines move to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination hinh anh 1A man gets a shot of COVID-19 vaccine in Navotas city of the Philippines on June 8 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Vientiane (VNA) Laos is stepping up the COVID-19 vaccination programme while the Philippine Government is also encouraging its people to get inoculated against the coronavirus disease.

The Lao Ministry of Health is calling on people in the country to get the second shot of COVID-19 vaccine on time to ensure effectiveness while those who have not received the first can register with local health agencies.

So far, nearly 700,000 Lao people have received the first vaccine shot and over 300,000 others the full two.

According to new anti-pandemic rules, residents in Vientiane capital having received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to travel to other localities without needing permission or quarantine. 

The Lao Health Ministry said on June 11 that this country recorded four new infection cases in the past 24 hours, including two domestic infections and two imported ones.

The infection tally in Laos now stands at 1,979, with 1,827 recoveries and three fatalities.

On June 11, spokesperson of the Philippine President Harry Roque said the country will exempt elderly people who have been fully vaccinated from stay-at-home orders to encourage more to get inoculated and help authorities meet COVID-19 immunisation targets.

He noted that from June 16, seniors living in areas under looser quarantine restrictions will be allowed to go out but will still need to wear masks, face shields and practice social distancing.

The elderly, who account for four-fifths of COVID-19 deaths in the country, were among priority groups in the government's vaccination drive that began on March 1.

However, as of June 6, only 1.54 million, or 16 percent, of an elderly population of more than 9 million had got their first shot, while more than 343,000 had received their second doses.

On June 11, the archipelago nation also allowed non-contact sports venues like gyms, fitness studios, historical sites, and museums to reopen but with a limited number of guests.

The Philippines has recorded nearly 1.3 million infections, including more than 22,300 deaths.

The Philippines started vaccinating around 35 million people working outside their homes this week to curb virus transmission and help open the economy, but the inoculation drive was hit by a delay in vaccine deliveries./.