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Speeding up the progress of vaccination against COVID-19

by NDO25 December 2021 Last updated at 20:00 PM

Vaccination against COVID-19 for children from 12 to 17 years old in Thanh Xuan district (Hanoi).
Vaccination against COVID-19 for children from 12 to 17 years old in Thanh Xuan district (Hanoi).

VTV.vn - Ministry of Health continues to request localities to speed up the progress of vaccinations, to achieve full coverage for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2021 and implement booster injection for people as prescribed.

Long An province was one of the first localities in the country to conduct vaccinations against COVID-19 for its people. The province has so far had more than 1.6 million people vaccinated, including more than 1.4 million people aged from 18 years old and more than 168,100 people from 12 to 17 years old. The rate of people from 18 years old receiving the first shot is now 100% and the second shot is 98.3%, while the rate of children from 12 to 17 years old receiving the first dose is 94.8% and the second dose is 35.7%.

Deputy Director of Bac Ninh Provincial Department of Health Nguyen Ba Quy said that the biggest difficulty in vaccination throughout the locality is that the number of allocated syringes and needles did not arrive at the same time as the batches of vaccines. Meanwhile, the number of vaccines is allocated in small batches, with various types of vaccines, so it is difficult to balance the distribution and invite people to be vaccinated.

Immunization management software systems are also not stable with many upgrades, affecting vaccination statistics and management.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said that Vietnam started the COVID-19 vaccination programme in March 2021, based on the principle of ensuring safety, efficiency, fairness and publicity. To date, the whole country has injected nearly 140 million doses of vaccines, with the rate of people receiving one shot at 96.9% and the rate of people given two doses reaching more than 83.6% of people aged from 18 years old.

The vaccination for children from 12 to 17 years old has also been implemented from the end of October 2021. The country has injected more than nine million doses, with coverage of the first dose reaching 73.4% and the second dose reaching 28.1%.

Vietnam is highly appreciated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international agencies for implementing the COVID-19 vaccination on the largest scale and with the fastest progress right after vaccines are made available.

The Ministry of Health suggested localities and units speed up the progress of vaccination to ensure that 100% of the population, aged from 12, are covered with the first dose in 2021 and 100% of people aged from 18 are covered with the second dose by the end of 2021. In addition, the second injection for children between 12 and 17 years old must be completed by the end of January 2022.

At the same time, it is necessary to review and make lists of adults, to inject booster doses based on the progress of vaccine supply, in order to not leave any vaccines expired.

The local health sector needs to continue to mobilise non-public health workers to participate in vaccination, data entry, guidance and counselling for those vaccinated, while strengthening communication about the benefits of vaccinations, especially the extension of the shelf life of the Comirnaty vaccine (Pfizer BioNTech).

On the other hand, the Ministry of Health will continue to request donors and suppliers to soon supply a sufficient number of syringes and needles, in accordance with the number of vaccines doses, while upgrading the software serving the management and guidance of vaccinations within the localities.

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