Vietnam COVID-19 Updates (March 25): Another morning with no new case to report
|Photo: VN Express|
Another morning with no new case to report
No new COVID-19 cases were recorded in Vietnam over the past 24 hours, keeping the national count at 2,576, said the Ministry of Health. According to the ministry’s Medical Service Administration, an additional 19 patients have been given the all-clear from coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
To live safely with the pandemic, the Ministry of Health advised people to continue preventive measures, including the “5K message” (in Vietnamese) - Khau trang (facemask) - (Khu khuan) disinfection - (Khoang cach) distance - (Khong tu tap) no gathering – (Khai bao y te) health declaration.
|Photo VN Express|
Vietnam Airlines suggests staff receive free Covid-19 vaccination
All Vietnam Airlines employees would be vaccinated against Covid-19 for free, according to a representative of the national carrier. The airline is conducting talks with the Ministry of Health and relevant entities to buy Covid-19 vaccines for all its employees and their families as soon as possible, Vietnam News Agency cited the representative as saying.
The vaccines would be provided for free to employees of Vietnam Airlines Group, which includes Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and Vasco. Their family members would be supported regarding procedures to get vaccine jabs at the same time. Since airline staff stands a higher chance of contracting the coronavirus, the decision would help protect them and their customers, allowing for peace of mind on the job, the representative said. With over 22,000 employees, the national carrier expects to receive hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 vaccine shots.
Vietnam began its mass Covid-19 vaccination program earlier this month, starting with frontline workers in the Covid-19 fight. As of Wednesday, over 38,000 Vietnamese have received their first Covid-19 vaccine jab produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca. The country aims to secure around 150 million vaccine doses to cover 70 percent of its population this year.
Vietnam hoped to produce COVID-19 vaccines in late Q3
Vietnam is expected to have the first batch of locally-produced COVID-19 vaccines at the end of the third quarter of 2021. The statement was made by Deputy Director of the Department of Science Technology and Training under the Health Ministry Nguyen Ngo Quang, who is Chief of the Office of the National Programme on Vaccine Research and Development, at a meeting of the Standing Board of the Steering Committee for International Cooperation in Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Vaccines.
Accordingly, the second phase of human trials on the NanoCovax vaccine, produced by the Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, is being conducted, with the second dose to be injected on March 26. The results of the second phase are expected to be announced in May as scheduled, while the third phase will be conducted from May to September. The vaccine is hoped to be registered for circulation in September, three months shorter than planned. Earlier, the trial time of the second phase was also shortened from six months to three months.
A system on monitoring and assessing vaccines’ protection efficiency in Vietnam and other countries is expected to be operated from September 2021 – September 2022. Meanwhile, the first injections of the first phase of human trials on Vietnam’s second homegrown candidate vaccine COVIVAC, developed by the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), were made on March 15. The first phase of human trials on the country’s third homegrown candidate vaccine, developed by VABIOTECH, is hoped to begin in April.
Vietnam to receive first batch of vaccine under Covax next month
Over 811,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will be delivered to Hanoi next month, a UNICEF official said Wednesday. "We will receive the first tranche for Vietnam by the middle of April, and that will be 811,200 doses," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam. She said that the delivery was being made under Covax commitments. The accurate date for the shipment will only be confirmed 24 hours before it arrives, she added.
By the end of May, UNICEF has been told to expect 4.1 million doses of the vaccine to come in, and then over the rest of the year, Vietnam will be able to vaccinate 20 percent of the population as promised. She said earlier information that the first doses would arrive by the end of March was revised late Tuesday afternoon because of supply issues. This delay is not about the money for Covax, it's about how many vaccines are available for distribution, she said.
UNICEF is also seeing a global shortage of syringes and cold chain items and refrigerators. These matters are being discussed by the U.N. agency and Vietnam, Flowers said. In the near future, Covax is likely to look at procuring the Pfizer vaccine, as well as the one produced by Johnson & Johnson, recently added to the list. When these vaccines go into increased production, the supply will improve.
Of the total, 1,601 are domestically-transmitted cases, including 907 infections since the third wave of outbreak hit the country on January 27. The total number of recoveries reaches 2,265, while the death toll remained at 35.
Among active patients undergoing treatment at medical establishments nationwide, 54 tested negative to the virus once, 21 twice, and 45 thrice.
As many as 29,762 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or entered Vietnam from pandemic-hit regions are currently quarantined across the country, including 214 in hospitals, 16,651 in state-designated establishments, and 12,897 at their residences.
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