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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Vietnam needs to stay alert for Covid-19: top official

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HCMC – Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam told a meeting on February 15 that Vietnam must be fully alert to the possibility of more Covid-19 outbreaks until this summer, when a Covid-19 vaccine is available.

Deputy PM Dam explained that it will take several months to begin Covid-19 vaccination programs even when Vietnam gets a Covid-19 vaccine.

Speaking at the meeting, Truong Quoc Cuong, Deputy Minister of Health, said that the Health Ministry has made aggressive moves to secure a Covid-19 vaccine under the Covax program and basically completed essential procedures to get the vaccine. Besides this, Vietnam is planning to import additional Covid-19 vaccines.

By the end of this month, Vietnam could have got 4.88 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine under the Covax program and import 117,000 doses, if flights transporting the vaccines are operated well and procedures for receiving the vaccines are done.

Accordingly, the country could have around five million doses of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the month and could vaccinate five million people.

Three months later, the country could have another five million doses to offer these people a second dose.

The Health Ministry also suggested two plans on priority groups for Covid-19 vaccination. According to the first plan, over two million people in priority groups will get vaccinated. In the second plan, some 5.7 million people will be vaccinated.

In response, Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said that vaccination is the key to dealing with the disease in a long run, but poor countries will find it difficult to access a Covid-19 vaccine. Also, Vietnam has yet to find the original source of infection and is at risk of further outbreaks at any time, while the amount of Covid-19 vaccine provided by the World Health Organization could not be huge. Therefore, the domestic production of Covid-19 vaccines should be encouraged and facilitated.

Binh added that optimal conditions should be created for local enterprises that can import Covid-19 vaccines under the surveillance of authorities, aiming to meet the vaccination demand in the country.

Wrapping up the meeting, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc urged the competent agencies to ramp up efforts to bring Covid-19 vaccines to Vietnam and facilitate the research and development of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

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