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Health Ministry approves booster doses for fully vaccinated

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Health today, December 2, gave the green light to cities and provinces to start this month to give booster shots and additional doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the fully vaccinated to stay protected over time.

The decision was based on the recommendations of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization under the World Health Organization, the local media reported.

A leader of the Ministry of Health said that with most Covid-19 vaccines in use in Vietnam, such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Vero Cell, individuals need two shots three to six weeks apart. For Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik Light vaccines, just a single dose is needed while the Abdala vaccine of Cuba requires a three-dose schedule.

The additional doses should be administered at least 28 days after the last primary dose, while the booster shots should be given at least six months after the last basic or additional shot, the leader added.

The Ministry of Health allowed administering the additional shots to residents 18 and older, prioritizing those aged 50 and above, those suffering from immunodeficiency, such as cancer and HIV patients, those who have undergone organ transplantations, and those using immunosuppression drugs in the last six months.

They can be given the same vaccines as those used for their basic shots or different vaccines developed with mRNA technology, such as Pfizer and Moderna.

The booster jab will be administered to residents aged 18 and above who have got their basic or additional vaccine doses, prioritizing those aged 50 and above, those under long-term treatment at medical centers, medical workers and those directly testing, taking care of and treating Covid-19 patients.

The Ministry of Health also allowed the mix and match of vaccines for the booster jabs. As for those who received the Vero Cell vaccine as their basic or additional shots, they can be administered Astrazeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.

Local authorities should make a list of residents eligible for the additional and booster shots and prepare vaccine rollouts.

The Ministry of Health also required localities to accelerate the vaccination of people aged 18 and above.

In March, Vietnam initiated the Covid-19 vaccination and has administered more than 120 million doses to residents aged 18 and older. Of the total, over 98% of adults have got their first doses and 68% have received their second shots.

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