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Vaccine strategy enhanced towards public health

by NDO10 August 2021 Last updated at 15:00 PM

A COVID-19 vaccination point at Trinh Hoai Duc Gymnasium in Hanoi. (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
A COVID-19 vaccination point at Trinh Hoai Duc Gymnasium in Hanoi. (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)

VTV.vn - Amid the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has launched the largest vaccination campaign in the country’s history towards the goal of achieving herd immunity.

The Representative from the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam affirmed that all vaccines against COVID-19 being used in Vietnam have been approved by the organisation, ensuring their safety and effectiveness.

However, despite that fact, many comments attacking Vietnam's vaccine policy and distorting the effectiveness of some vaccines have recently appeared on social networks and some foreign media agencies, causing confusion among the public and sabotaging the determination of Vietnamese Party, State and people to repel the epidemic, putting the protection of people’s health first and foremost, quickly taking the nation back to a new normal situation and further development.

The COVID-19 epidemic, with its new variants, has been continuing to ravage socities globally. New infections and deaths have risen and health systems have been overwhelmed, leaving many countries facing an unprecedented crisis. The demand for COVID-19 vaccines around the country has become more urgent than ever, rendering vaccine supplies increasingly scarce. With the foresight to find a radical solution to bring the country out of the epidemic, the Party and State of Vietnam were determined to implement the vaccine strategy as soon as the pandemic’s outbreaks began. The vaccine strategy has been focused on specific orientations: accessing vaccine sources from outside; strengthening international cooperation for technology transfer and vaccine production; and researching and producing domestic vaccines.

Many specific policies have been issued to implement the vaccine strategy as soon as possible with the highest levels of safety and efficiency. In addition to measures such as enhancing negotiations and financial mobilisation to buy and import vaccines, the Vietnamese Government established the COVID-19 Vaccine Fund to call for donations from people in the country and abroad as well as enterprises and international friends.

The strategy has drawn the active involvement of ministries, functional agencies, ambassadors and heads of representative offices abroad as well as many organisations and individuals in the country and abroad. Vietnam’s acumen in the implementation of its vaccine strategy, especially "vaccine diplomacy", has helped the country quickly and effectively access vaccine resources as part of the COVAX mechanism, along with the valuable support of many countries including Japan, the US, Russia, China, Australia, the UK, Germany and India, through different forms. This was also an important basis for the recent Ministry of Health’s announcement that Vietnam had signed a contract to buy 31 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and is in the process of purchasing an additional 20 million doses.

With a prompt vaccine strategy implemented in both a deep and wide manner, Vietnam has received a relatively abundant supply of vaccines towards the goal of 100% of the population being eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 epidemic, equivalent to 150 million doses, by the end of the first quarter of 2022,

Speaking at an online conference on "Strengthening economic diplomacy for the realisation of the dual goals in the last 6 months of 2021" held with 96 ambassadors and the heads of Vietnamese representative offices abroad on July 29, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son noted that the brightest point of economic diplomacy in the first six months of this year was the vaccine diplomacy that has contributed to the country's overall results in mobilising and receiving more 14 million doses of vaccine despite the scarce global supply of vaccines in the world and the fact that Vietnam was not a priority country for vaccines due to its effective fight against the epidemic.

This result has an important significance in many aspects, from home and foreign affairs, defence and security to socio-economic development. The country’s goal in the last six months of the year is to continue promoting vaccine diplomacy in the forms of aid, sales and technology transfer and boosting the supply of medical equipment and supplies; to focus on monitoring and detecting new trends during and after the COVID-19 pandemic to inform and advise the Government in implementing its strategies and development orientations for the country.

Assessing Vietnam's "vaccine diplomacy" policy, Bich Tran, Assistant to the Southeast Asia Programme under the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (based in Washington, US) said a bright spot is the foreign policy of Vietnam with its donations of face masks and medical equipment to foreign countries since the pandemic began. Thanks to the position and good relationship Vietnam has built, countries round the world are willing to help Vietnam by sharing their vaccine resources.

Vaccination against COVID-19 has been boosted across the country, especially in areas facing complicated developments in the epidemic. However, because the current number of vaccines cannot be provided for everyone, the Government, Ministry of Health and relevant agencies have made a reasonable and scientific allocation to localities. The Government's prioritizing of people in epidemic centres has also received the support of the people and authorities. In addition, the consensus and contributions of human resources, medical equipment and food among the community have contributed to sharing the difficulties facing localities severely affected by the epidemic.

Unfortunately, several individuals have given inaccurate information in order to distort and fabricate information about the epidemic situation, causing confusion among the community and social division. Notably, since the COVID-19 vaccination campaign was launched, some people, including some celebrities, have used social networks to attack and oppose the vaccine policy, causing public discontent.

Posting inaccurate or unverifiable information about the effectiveness of some vaccines via social networks, they openly incite and oppose the policies of the Party and State in epidemic prevention and control, even calling for a boycott of the vaccine they arbitrarily called "a pile of waste" and then slander that “the government has disregarded the lives and health of the people”. These are irresponsible statements that distort public opinion, despite the fact that WHO representatives as well as the results in many countries around the world have confirmed otherwise.

The vaccines currently being used in Vietnam have all been approved by the WHO. Many countries around the world have been using these vaccines and achieved positive results in COVID-19 prevention and control. Therefore, the actions of these extremist organisations and individuals who lack goodwill have not only made it difficult in terms of the already extremely stressful anti-epidemic work but have also affected international relations. Hostile forces consider this as an opportunity to slander the State of Vietnam while inciting national hatred and plots to overthrow the regime.

Vaccination is both the right and responsibility of each person to protect public health. Therefore, those who are prioritised for vaccination need to strictly follow the instructions of the authorities. Responsible citizens should not follow the rhetoric of discriminating against this vaccine while applauding another kind to avoid falling into the schemes of petty, selfish, and ill-willed people.

Witnessing this sad event, reader Khoi Nguyen shared: “There are still tens of millions of people waiting to be vaccinated while the virus silently attacks the people”. Meanwhile, reader Nguyen Khanh said: “During these days at home due to social distancing, I have not had any income because my company has stopped operating. I have never wanted to go back to work so much. While people were talking about the new vaccines, I thought that I will be very glad if I get it and any kind is fine. I believe in in the verification of WHO and leading doctors and epidemiologists across the world”.

The Vietnamese Government has always maintained a consistent stance, to create equal conditions for everyone to access the vaccines. The vaccine sourcse that we have are the result of efforts made by the Party, State and Government as well as may other organisations and individuals.

Regardless of the type and the manufacturer, all vaccines imported to Vietnam have been thoroughly evaluated, ensuring quality according to international standards in order to promptly serve the goal of national vaccination and the protection of public health. The vaccination of each individual is dependent on the imported batch of vaccine at that time, without discrimination.

These days, vaccination against COVID-19 is being accelerated in many localities. This is a difficult race against a dangerous epidemic that needs the support, solidarity and consensus of the community. According to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s assessment, the country has still controlled the situation relatively well and will definitely continue to control the epidemic if people around the country seriously implement the measures required by the central agencies, including the vaccine policy. Delay, for any reason, could cause unpredictable consequences.

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