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Vietnam weighs fourth Covid vaccine booster amid spike in new cases

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered accelerating Covid-19 vaccinations and considering giving the fourth vaccine booster.

The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed 86,990 new cases.

Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the Vietnamese Doctors’ Day on February 27, the Government leader asked the Ministry of Health to learn from other countries’ experiences in vaccinating children aged five to 11; boost the application of science, technology and digital transformation in the healthcare sector; and build pandemic response plans.

PM Chinh said the pandemic had caused a great impact on the country and the world as a whole, the local media reported.

Vietnam is one of the countries with the highest vaccination rates despite initial difficulties in accessing vaccines, a large population and a low proportion of medical workers to the population. The high vaccination rate has helped recover the local economy.

However, through the pandemic, the local healthcare sector has showed its shortcomings in infrastructure and human resources. In addition, policies for medical workers are not yet appropriate for what they contribute.

The Government has directed the relevant ministries and agencies to propose special policies for medical workers and remove bottlenecks in health and social insurance policies and the pricing of medical checkup and treatment services, medicines and medical equipment, PM Chinh said.

He added that the pandemic had been brought under control but still complicated. The healthcare sector’s responsibility was heavy to safely and flexibly adapt to and effectively control Covid-19.

To share the burden of medical workers, all residents should raise their awareness of complying with anti-pandemic regulations.

The Government has also asked the Ministry of Health to coordinate with the relevant ministries, agencies and localities to protect people with a high risk of coronavirus infection and those in the frontline of the anti-pandemic fight, prevent a medical overload and enhance the treatment of Covid-19 patients treated at home or at lower-level treatment facilities.

At the ceremony, Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said four Covid waves over the past two years had posed great challenges to the healthcare system. He hailed medical workers and employees in the healthcare sector for their contributions to the pandemic response and the protection of public health.

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