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People in HCMC to receive booster shots before Tet holiday

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The HCMC health authority plans to complete its Covid vaccine booster shot campaign for people across the city in January 2022, or before the Lunar New Year holiday, said a health official.

Speaking at a Covid-related meeting held yesterday, December 23, Nguyen Thi Huynh Mai, chief of the HCMC Health Department Office, said the municipal health authority had issued a vaccination plan early this month with an aim to complete the booster shot campaign in the first quarter of 2022.

However, the Ministry of Health recently adjusted its guidelines on vaccination. Specifically, people who have received two shots will get a booster shot after three months instead of six months. Recovered Covid patients will be vaccinated after they complete the quarantine period, instead of having to wait six months to get a shot. Those at high risk of Covid transmission or experiencing immunodeficiency will get the additional shot 28 days after receiving the second shot.

Following the adjusted guidelines of the ministry, the HCMC government and Health Department issued new guidelines on vaccination for districts and agencies across the city. The city will make efforts to complete the booster shot campaign before the Tet holiday. The priority group in this vaccination drive will include those aged over 65 and having underlying health problems, Mai added.

In related news, the Government office yesterday evening released a telegram saying that Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh ordered the intensification of vaccination rollouts and measures against Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper.

PM Chinh asked the heads of anti-Covid authorities and chairpersons of local authorities to take measures to speed up their vaccination campaigns. By December 31 at the latest, localities across the country must finish administering the second shot to people aged 18 and older who are eligible to be vaccinated.

By January 2022, all people aged 12-18 must be given the second shot. They must also administer the booster shot to all of the over 18s in the first quarter of next year, the head of the Government said.

The Health Ministry must be accountable to the Government and the prime minister for ensuring sufficient supplies of vaccines to localities. It must also give the localities guidelines on carrying out safe and effective vaccination programs.

Further, the ministries of Health, Transport, Public Security, National Defense, and Foreign Affairs have to ramp up efforts to monitor passengers arriving in Vietnam by air, road and sea from countries that had detected infections linked to the Omicron variant, aimed at preventing the variant from spreading to Vietnam.

The Health Ministry was told to direct the relevant agencies to conduct a comprehensive study on the Omicron variant to promptly take prevention and control measures.

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