Myanmar Vaccine Program Was Hurt By February 2021 Coup By Myanmar Military

U Maung hoped to get vaccinated before Thingyan, the traditional Myanmar New Year celebration in April 2021.
Despite the availability of Covid-19 vaccines to the government in late January 2021, the 69-year-old resident of Myingyan still has not received the vaccination.
In Myanmar, there is no government and, since February 1st, 2021, the military dictatorship has devoted much of its energy to crushing protests against the coup.
Even though the vaccine rollout has not been halted, it has been disrupted, leaving millions vulnerable to the consequences of a power struggle that pits the military against the majority of the country’s population.
Rather than submit to an administration that has killed hundreds of civilians in the last three months, U Maung has decided to risk his life with a virus that has killed millions over the past year.
“I have no desire whatsoever to get vaccinated if they’re the ones administering it. I don’t trust them at all,” he said, echoing a sentiment expressed by many across the country.
In the midst of a nationwide vaccination program, the junta overthrew the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government.
The NLD program, which aimed to cut the infection rate in a country that ranked fourth in Southeast Asia for the number of confirmed cases per capita, used the Covishield vaccine produced in India.
Additionally to the 1.5 million doses provided by India, the NLD government ordered 30 million doses as part of an ambitious program to contain the virus.
Among the first to receive the vaccine were healthcare workers, public servants, and members of parliament. Vaccinations for the general public were due to begin by the first week of February 2921
Before that could happen, the NLD government was overthrown, and the nation was again faced with a crisis in the form of military rule.
After nearly a year on the front lines against Covid-19, medical workers soon found themselves at the forefront of a different struggle. Within days of the coup, healthcare professionals launched the Civil Disobedience Movement against the newly formed junta.
As a reaction to the regime’s attempts to consolidate its control over the state, they gave up their jobs at public hospitals and began offering their services through charity and private clinics.

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