900 medical workers in HCM City to get COVID-19 vaccine at first

Some 900 staff members of the HCM City Hospital for Tropical Diseases will be the first in the southern region to be injected with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on March 8, Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Health announced on March 6.
March 07, 2021 | 08:36
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900 medical workers in HCM City to get COVID 19 vaccine shots first
Samples taken for COVID-19 testing. Photo: VNA

According to VNA, the selected medical personnel are those directly contacting with, treating, or caring for people classified as risky sources of COVID-19 transmission.

The hospital is chosen as it performs inoculations for people against communicable diseases on a daily basis, thus having experienced human resources for the work. Meanwhile, since the beginning of pandemic, the hospital has been a core establishment for treating severe cases and sent staff to support other COVID-19 treatment facilities in the city and the central region.

On March 5, the municipal Department of Health submitted to the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine a list of the southern economic hub’s nine prioritised groups for the first COVID-19 vaccinations.

Accordingly, a total of 44,175 people are set to get shots, including 285 medical staff who are treating COVID-19 patients at hospitals, 388 members of local contact tracing teams, 1,362 members of epidemiology investigation teams, 600 from the army, 1,042 from the police force, and 513 working at quarantine sites.

Vaccinations using the AstraZeneca are expected to begin on March 8, under Government Resolution No 21.

More than 117,600 doses of the vaccine manufactured in the Republic of Korea arrived in Vietnam on February 24. After holding working sessions with the producer, Vietnam has obtained an accreditation certificate for the batch from the RoK.

Vietnam is among 92 countries to receive vaccines through the COVAX Facility in the first phase. COVAX mainly uses the AstraZeneca vaccine, providing 5 million doses to the country this year and with 25 million set to arrive in 2022.

900 medical workers in HCM City to get COVID 19 vaccine shots first
Injecting COVID-19 vaccine on volunteers. Photo: VNA

Priority in vaccination will be given to people at the front line of the fight against COVID-19, including health, army, police, customs and immigration personnel; those working in sectors offering essential services like aviation, transport, tourism and education; people with chronic illnesses or above 65 years old; those living in pandemic-hit areas; the poor and beneficiaries of social welfare policy.

People getting the shots will be monitored via digital health records and receive e-certificates for their completion of inoculation.

Vietnam plans to import about 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year.

Nguyen Dac Vinh, Deputy Chief of the Office of the Party Central Committee, said the idea that vaccines can fully tackle the pandemic should be repudiated, and preventive measures must still be observed to reduce the risk of community infection.

He made the remarks during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control in Hanoi on March 5, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam.

Members of the Steering Committee directed the vaccination campaign to ensure equitable access, with vaccination to be rolled out in a prompt and cautious manner. They also underlined the need to stay prepared to deal with any problems encountered during the campaign.

For his part, Dam, who is also head of the Committee, underlined that Vietnam has been successful in curbing the spread of the pandemic even before any vaccine was approved.

Therefore, in the time to come, relevant agencies need to take the initiative in battling COVID-19 by following the 5K message along with vaccinations, which are a new weapon in the fight./.

Vietnam logged six new COVID-19 cases on March 6 evening, all in northern Hai Duong province, the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control reported.

By the evening of March 6, Vietnam had recorded a total of 2,507 COVID-19 patients, including 1,584 domestically-transmitted cases. Up to 891 domestic infections have been detected since the third wave of outbreaks hit the country on January 27.

The Treatment Subcommittee said that 1,920 patients have recovered from the disease to date, while the number of deaths related to COVID-19 was still kept at 35.

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