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Health Ministry changes Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

April 18, 2021 | 13:23

The Ministry of Health re-distributes the 110,000 AstraZeneca doses originally dedicating to the military forces to provinces across the country.

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The first batch of AstraZeneca provided via Covax arriving at Noi Bai International Airport on April 1 morning (Photo: VNE)

Accordingly, among the 80,000 doses planned to administer for military personnel, medical authorities divide 34,350 doses to Disease Control Centers in 44 provinces and cities. Northern localities receive a total of 15,450 doses, while the Central region gets 8,200 doses, Central Highlands 3,450 doses and Southern region 7,250 doses.

The Ministry also supplements 10,650 doses for 5 localities, including An Giang Disease Control Center (2,200 doses), Tay Ninh Disease Control Center (2,250 doses), Kien Giang Disease Control Center (2,200 doses), Dong Thap Disease Control Center (2,000 doses) and Long An Disease Control Center (2,00 doses).

The 30,000 doses scheduled to deliver to the police forces are now allocated to the Disease Control Centers in 62 provinces and cities across the country.

To date, 49 out of 63 provinces, cities have received AstraZeneca vaccines granted the second time by the global Covax program, which aims at ensuring Covid-19 vaccines are shared fairly among all nations, rich and poor.

The Health Ministry is expediting all localities to speed up and finish their current vaccination program ahead of May 5, 10 days earlier than scheduled.

A total of 66,366 people in 22 provinces and cities have been given Covid-19 vaccine. Four provinces Bac Ninh, Ha Tinh, Cao Bang, Phu Yen have already launched the second round of the inoculation program.

Health Ministry changes Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan
A medical worker in Hanoi's Thanh Nhan Hospital receives her first Covid-19 vaccine shot, March 9, 2021 (Photo: VNE)

On April 1 morning, the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines sourced via the global Covax program, containing 811,200 AstraZeneca doses, has arrived at Noi Bai International Airport.

The batch was then transferred to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) for preservation.

Previously, global vaccine access mechanism Covax planned to supply Vietnam with 1.37 million Covid-19 vaccine doses produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca on March 25. But due to a lack of supply, only 811,200 doses were made available in the first batch.

Rana Flowers, UNICEF's representative in Vietnam, said Covax still guarantees to give Vietnam over four million vaccine doses by the end of May despite supply shortage.

Vietnam is expecting 60 million doses of the UK’s AstraZeneca vaccine, with 30 million sourced via Covax and another 30 million by order.

On February 24, the first 117,600 purchased doses arrived in the country and have been administered to nearly 50,000 prioritized recipients in the National Expanded Vaccination program.

On March 23, Vietnam greenlighted Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use.

Regarding domestically produced Covid-19 vaccines, the country is eyeing self-provision of vaccines in Quarter 3 this year, as soon as the homegrown Nanocovax finishes its third phase of human trials.

Vietnam, the country’s been showered with praises over comprehensive and effective COVID-19 containment attainment is having four potential vaccines on hands. The vaccines are studied and produced by Nanogen, Vabiotech, Polyvac and the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVMB), all have completed the laboratory production process.

IVMB’s candidate Covivac has entered the first phase of human trials in early March after yielding safe and strong immunity response on animals. In the meantime, Nanocogen’s Nonacovax vaccine has gone half the way into the second phase. Nanogen Biopharmaceutical company is expected to end its Nanocovax vaccine’s human trials by February 2022.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam on March 26 received the second shot of made-in-Vietnam NanoCovax vaccine. After the injection, the official waited 30 minutes for medical monitoring and then talked to other volunteers, expressing his trust in those engaging in NanoCovax research and trials.

At the current progress, scientists would be able to submit the preliminary test results to the National Council for Ethics in Biomedical Research in late June or early July for the approval of the third phase of trial on a larger scale, he continued.

As of April 16, as many as 62,000 Vietnamese people in 19 provinces and cities have been administered the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. There have been no cases of blood clots recorded. All recipients with severe reactions were timely treated and now in stable health conditions.

Therefore, Vietnam will continue its Covid-19 inoculation campaign using the AstraZeneca vaccine, said the Health Ministry.

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Jasmine Le