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Thursday, July 18, 2024

HCMC could face disruption in Covid-19 vaccination drive

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – HCMC’s sixth Covid-19 vaccination drive, aimed at administering the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to around 70% of people aged over 18 by the end of this month, could be disrupted due to the short supply of the vaccine, according to a local official.

Duong Anh Duc, vice chairman of the municipal government, said that the city has been speeding up the vaccination, with the participation of 87 hospitals and 1,200 vaccination teams citywide. Besides this, the city has administered the vaccine to expats in the city, enabling everyone living in the city to access the vaccine, reported Tien Phong newspaper.

As of August 13, the city had inoculated over 4.3 million people, including 100,000 being fully vaccinated. The on-going vaccination drive is focused on vaccinating people aged over 65 and those having underlying medical conditions, with some 456,000 of the total 650,000 people being vaccinated, Duc added.

Data from the HCMC Department of Health showed that the city had even administered up to 318,000 doses per day.

With such a vaccination speed, it could hit its target of giving the vaccine to all city dwellers. However, most of the vaccine doses allocated to the city by the Health Ministry have been used and it remains unknown when the next allocations will be made.

Nguyen Hoai Nam, deputy director of the city’s Health Department, said that the city had over 120,000 doses left on August 12. Therefore, localities in the city are slowing down their vaccination speed to cope with the situation. Once the vaccine supply becomes sufficient, the city will ramp up the vaccination drive again, Nam added.

The southern city has seized opportunities to access vaccine supplies from countries and territories that have a good cooperation with Vietnam, and two countries have pledged to present some 750,000 vaccine doses to HCMC. The entire city is making efforts to diversify vaccine supplies to inoculate residents as the pandemic is taking a heavy toll with more than 149,000 domestic infections reported as of yesterday, August 15.

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