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Long An agrees to share 300,000 AstraZeneca doses with Mekong Delta provinces

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Mekong Delta province of Long An has heeded a request from three other provinces in the delta—Tien Giang, Ben Tre and Dong Thap—to share 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine with them.

The provincial government of Long An this morning, October 29, said it had proposed the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) allow it to transfer the doses to the three provinces mentioned above, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Earlier, on October 18, NIHE issued a decision allocating 350,000 doses of the vaccine to Long An in three phases. However, after reviewing its demand for the vaccine, Long An now needs 50,000 doses to give the second shot to its residents and set aside a backup amount to vaccinate workers who would come to Long An from other localities.

The leader of Long An then contacted the three provinces, saying it would like to share the vaccine with them to ramp up their vaccination rollouts for people aged 18 and older.

In response, the three provinces asked for vaccine support, with each expected to receive 100,000 doses.

According to the reply document from Dong Thap, its vaccination rate for those at 18 years of age and older is below 70%. In Ben Tre, the first-dose vaccination rate for those aged 18 and above is just over 60% and the second dose rate is over 14%. Tien Giang also said its vaccination rate remains low and has yet to ensure Covid safety. The three said it would be tough for them to reach the vaccination rate of 95% by the end of this year.

As for Long An, all of its residents 18 and older had received their first shots and more than 85% of this age group have been fully inoculated.

Of the 350,000 doses set to be distributed to Long An, the province has received nearly 50,000 doses, while the rest are being stored at NIHE.

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