Vietnam aims to achieve herd immunity by year end or early 2022: Health minister

by NDO18 June 2021 Last updated at 18:28 PM

Minister of Health Prof., Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long. (Photo: Ministry of Health)
Minister of Health Prof., Dr. Nguyen Thanh Long. (Photo: Ministry of Health)

VTV.vn - With the goal of vaccinating about 70 million people, Vietnam aims to achieve herd immunity by the end of 2021 or in early 2022, Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long has said.

According to Long, Vietnam is about to launch its largest-scale vaccination campaign ever with around 150 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to be injected, but with safety always put first.

The campaign will be deployed in injection venues in all communes and wards across the nation. In addition to the existent vaccination venues, the campaign will deploy more mobile vaccination camps at factories, schools and some other areas to ensure that Vietnamese people have access to vaccines in the most convenient and simple manner.

As the largest-scale ever, the vaccination campaign witnesses the participation of all ministries and sectors, especially the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Information and Communications, and the Ministry of Transport in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

A very important point of this campaign is the simultaneous deployment in all localities. This is a very important factor for its success, Minister Long affirmed.

Vietnam has stepped up the application of information technology in the implementation of vaccination against COVID-19 under the direction of the Prime Minister.

Long emphasised that Vietnam has well deployed information technology in the epidemic prevention and control efforts. Currently, the Ministry of Health has developed an electronic health books for individuals. Accordingly, when going to receive vaccination, each citizen must register the vaccination schedule on their electronic health books or via SMS. On that basis, the system will send them messages with information about the injection sites as well as the injection schedule, allowing people not have to wait in line for the injection.

At the same time, vaccination officers also use electronic health books to manage vaccinated people through a software system developed by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information and Communications. The later directs all vaccination facilities to implement this content.

This electronic health book synchronises both vaccination results and test information. This is also the database for the application of the “vaccine passport”. In addition, people can report post-injection symptoms and reactions so that health authorities can manage and handle them in a timely manner.

To ensure vaccination safety, a difference of the vaccination programme in Vietnam compared to other countries is the thorough screening of all vaccinated subjects. If any do not meet the health requirements, they will be delayed in receiving their injection.

Facilities providing vaccination against COVID-19 must ensure standards regarding facilities, equipment and human resources, conducting screening, pre-vaccination counselling and organising safe vaccination sessions under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

People vaccinated must stay at the vaccination sites for at least 30 minutes after vaccination to monitor their health. They are also instructed to monitor at home for at least the next 24 hours and to continue to monitor for up to three weeks after injection.

Hospitals are ready to provide emergency care in the case of severe reactions after vaccination to ensure maximum safety for the vaccinated persons.

The Ministry of Health has also set up a Steering Committee for Immunisation Safety that brings together leading experts and professors in various fields to be ready to help localities across the country to ensure vaccination safety.

Minster Long said that many countries have set the target of having herd immunity in 2021 or 2022, while Vietnam has set to reach the target by the end of 2021 or early 2022. Therefore, it is important to get life back to normal by having at least 70% of the population vaccinated.

The Ministry of Health has developed and reported to the Politburo and the Government on the purchase of 150 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and implement this vaccination campaign on a national scale to ensure that about 70 million people get access to the vaccines.

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