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Vietnam prioritizes pandemic-hit localities for COVID-19 vaccines

Jasmine Le Jasmine Le

lehang1997hanu@gmail.com

March 03, 2021 | 10:35

COVID-19-struck cities and provinces, including Hai Duong – Vietnam current’s biggest hotspot – will get innoculation priority as soon as the first batches of COVID-19 vaccine arrive.

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Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong (Photo: VNE)

Speaking at a press conference on March 2 afternoon, Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong said the Health Ministry was waiting for vaccine inspection results from related agencies in Korea. “Hopefully we could get the inspection result at the end of this week or beginning of next week. We would carry out vaccination shortly after”, Cuong was quoted by VNE.

Cuong also affirmed that Vietnam’s vaccination program was implemented in line with the Resolution 21 of the Government, with priority given to the poor, families under preferential treatment policy, and 8 other groups.

“In addition, those provinces and cities currently battled by the pandemic will get the first batches of COVID-19 vaccines, including Hai Duong”, he added.

Vietnam is currently having 117,600 imported doses on hand – the number Cuong believes is still “relatively low”. Another one million doses are expected to arrive in late April. Therefore, Cuong emphasizes, Vietnam would innoculate right after each batch arrives, with number of people got the jabs depending on the availabity of the vaccine.

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Vu Thu Ha, System Supply Manager of VNVC said AstraZeneca and VNVC checking the data of the batch during the production and transportation process (Photo: VNE)

Earlier on February 26, the Ministry of Health issues the Decision No. 1210/QD-BYT, approving the Plan to receive, preserve, allocate and use COVID-19 vaccines secured through the COVAX Facility for the 2021-2022 period, as reported by Thu Vien Phap Luat.

This Decision details the 11 groups of people prioritized to receive Covid-19 vaccine shots secured through the COVAX Facility, including:

- Medical staff.

- Disease prevention and control staff (e.g. steering committees at all levels, staff working at quarantine zones, reporters, etc.).

- Diplomatic, customs staff and immigration officers.

- Military forces.

- Police.

- Teachers.

- People aged more than 65 years.

- Group of staff providing essential services, such as aviation, transport, tourism; electricity and water supply, etc.

- People with chronic conditions.

- People wishing to take business trips, study or work abroad.

- People living in epidemic hit areas that are identified based on epidemiologic studies.

The Decision No. 1210/QD-TTg is entering into force as of the signature date.

Vietnam on March 3 morning report 3 new imported cases. No new community cases recorded in the country in the past 12 hours to 6 pm on March 2, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

in the past 12 hours to 6 pm on March 2, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

On March 1, medical authorities announced that indigenous Covivac vaccine was expected to be less than US $2.6 (VND 60,000) per dose, a reasonable price for all Vietnamese residents.

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Made-in-Vietnam Covivac vaccine is less than US $2.6 (Photo: VNE)

Duong Huu Thai, director of Nha Trang Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals, announced the expected price Saturday morning. “Hopefully Covivac’s human trials will soon have good results so that Vietnamese residents would have an affordable, yet effective COVID-19 vaccine”, Thai was quoted by Nguoi Lao Dong.

Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long emphasized that the Health Ministry had been expediting local vaccine development as well as negotiating to order more imported vaccines. Vaccination must start at the earliest time given the potential dangers of the new variants.

“I believe Vietnam’s vaccine development would be promising”, he said.

The Covivac vaccine is the research work of the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) under the Ministry of Health (MOH). It had earlier yielded safe results and strong immunity responses on mice, rabbits, etc. Given promising results on animals, the vaccine is granted to enter human trials starting January, two months earlier than expected.

Meanwhile, Nanogen’s Nanocovax which has just entered the second human trial is priced at VND120,000 ($5.17) per dose. Along with injections, Vietnam’s COVID-19 Nanocovax vaccine will also be developed in the form of eye-drop and nasal spray for special subjects.

Along with this, two other made-in-Vietnam vaccine candidates produced by Vabiotech and Polyvac are currently evaluating their vaccines on animals, having completed the laboratory-scale production process.

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Jasmine Le