HCMC – The northern upland province of Dien Bien, as of June 15, had over 50,000 Covid vaccine doses left unused and nearing their expiry dates at risk of being wasted, said a local health official.
Pham Quang Nam, director of the provincial Department of Health, said that the local health authority had made huge efforts to ramp up vaccine rollouts but faced many obstacles, reported Lao Dong newspaper.
The biggest hindrance is local residents’ little interest in getting booster shots. Besides, the extreme weather conditions such as torrential rain and flooding and the province’s tough terrain made vaccination campaigns challenging. The doses would be discarded if they are not administered before expiration, Nam said.
Since early June, when the province had more than 60,000 doses expiring on June 16 and 30, the provincial health authority wrote to the Ministry of Health asking for an exchange of 35,000 doses with longer expiration dates. However, the request was declined, as many other localities are facing the same problem, Nam added.
By June 15, the mountainous province had administered over 1.2 million doses to its residents.