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MEDIA CONTENT EXCHANGE >> Media Content Exchange >> Radio the Voice of Vietnam >> Media Content Exchange 2021
Vietnam makes safety a priority as it steps up COVID-19 vaccination

15 June 2021

VOV.VN - Vietnam is set to launch the third phase of its national COVID-19 vaccination campaign over the coming days in an effort to increase the amount of local people being vaccinated against the pandemic.

Additional groups of people will benefit from the vaccination campaign, said Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, adding that careful preparations should be made in order to ensure that the inoculation is safe.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), approximately one million people, the majority of whom are healthcare workers and on-duty officials in high-risk areas, have been given the AstraZeneca vaccine since the start of the national campaign on March 3.

However, several cases of post-injection anaphylaxis have been recorded and dealt with in a timely manner, with the exception of one case in An Giang which led to the death of a healthcare worker due to a severe allergic reaction.

Although the MoH has approved both the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines for emergency use in the country, only the AstraZeneca vaccine has been used so far, while negotiations to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia are now underway.

Amid concerns relating to the risk of blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine as seen in a number of countries worldwide, the MoH said no such cases have been recorded in Vietnam, and the nation will proceed with its ongoing vaccination drive.

Further training will be conducted in localities and agencies nationwide as part of efforts to ensure that healthcare workers are swiftly dealt with in the event that complications occur after receiving their injection, said Dr. Duong Thi Hong, deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.

Dr. Hong, who is also head of the National Expanded Immunization Programme, added that localities which have already completed the two first phases of vaccination should initiate a review and share their experiences in order to ensure increased safety in the following phase.

Meanwhile, Dr. Duong Trong Lan, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute, noted that given the complicated nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, vaccination represents the best way to increase the immunity rate among the local community.

Most notably, vaccination will be an important factor in helping to prevent Vietnam from falling into a blockade situation as seen in other countries globally, stressed Dr. Lan.

Over recent months the MoH has started negotiations with various vaccine manufacturers worldwide to receive vaccines for its national campaign. Manufacturers have so far committed to supplying 110 million doses to the country this year, including 38.9 million doses from the COVAX Facility, 30 doses from AstraZeneca, and 31 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech.

Furthermore, the MoH has registered with COVAX to purchase an additional 10 million doses through a cost-sharing mechanism.

Vietnam has first purchased more than 117,000 doses from AstraZeneca and has also received more than 800,000 doses under the UN-administered COVAX Facility. Another batch of roughly 1.7 million doses from the COVAX Facility is set to arrive on May 16.

The MoH is currently negotiating with other vaccine manufacturers, including Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, CureVac, and Sinopharm, with the aim of diversifying vaccine sources for domestic use.

With a population of nearly 100 million, the Government aims to vaccinate every citizen against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

At present, the country is facing a fourth COVID-19 wave following the resurgence of the virus in late April. More than 700 cases have been recorded in 26 cities and provinces nationwide.

Recently the variant B.1.1.7 strain of the virus originating from the UK and the variant B.1.617.2 from India have been reported locally, both of which are believed to be more transmissible than their predecessors.


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