19 rack mount cases
HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Health announced on March 6 that 900 staff members of the municipal Hospital for Tropical Diseases will be the first in the southern region to be injected with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on March 8.
The selected medical personnel are those directly contacting with, treating, or caring for people classified as risky sources of COVID-19 transmission.
The hospital is chosen as it performs inoculations for people against communicable diseases on a daily basis, thus having experienced human resources for the work. Meanwhile, since the beginning of pandemic, the hospital has been a core establishment for treating severe cases and sent staff to support other COVID-19 treatment facilities in the city and the central region.
On March 5, the municipal Department of Health submitted to the Ministry of Health’s General Department of Preventive Medicine a list of the southern economic hub’s nine prioritised groups for the first COVID-19 vaccination s.
Vaccinations using the recently imported AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to begin in Vietnam on March 8, according to the Ministry of Health./.
At 6:15 a.m. the Vietnam Vaccine JSC sent the vaccines to the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases where 900 medical workers are to be given shots.
At the same time in Hanoi, specialized vehicles transported the vaccines to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Dr Vu Minh Dien, deputy director of the hospital’s center for pandemic prevention and vaccination, said 420 medical personnel would be immunized in the first phase.
“If possible, we will vaccinate all the hospital staff, but because the vaccine supply is limited and must be distributed to many other provinces, the highest priority is given to those who have direct contact with Covid patients and some medical staff in charge of screening patients.”
From a warehouse belonging to the company in Hanoi’s Dong Da District, two vehicles left at 3 a.m. for the Kinh Thanh District medical center and the Hospital of Tropical Diseases in Hai Duong Province, 60 kilometers east of the capital.
Hai Duong, where there have been 707 cases so far, got 33,000 doses meant for medical staff and other frontline workers.
As one of the first people to be vaccinated in Hai Duong, Nguyen Thi Hue, 34, a member of the contact tracing team in Tan Viet Commune, said she was concerned about the quality of the vaccine, but was confident that there would be good results.
“My job involves regular contact with people who have had direct or indirect contact with patients, putting me at high risk of infection. I decided to register to be vaccinated to protect myself and my family,” she said.
During the screening, the recipients had to inform authorities about their medical history including acute or chronic diseases or chemotherapy they had and history of allergy or anaphylaxis.
Healthcare workers carefully advised them about possible reactions such as pain at the injection site, headache, nausea, chills, fever, and anaphylactic reaction or allergy. The recipients had to then sign a Covid-19 vaccination consent form.
Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long warned that the vaccine does not guarantee 100 percent immunity against Covid-19.
According to AstraZeneca, it is 76 percent effective, increasing to 81 percent after the second shot. The recipients are set to get the second dose after 12 weeks.
Long went on to stress the need for everyone to continue complying with the pandemic prevention protocol.
The first batch of 117,600 vaccine doses arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on a flight from Seoul on February 23, and after evaluating its quality, the health ministry approved the vaccination.
In April Vietnam will get another 1.3 million doses through Covax, a global mechanism for developing, manufacturing and procuring Covid-19 vaccines.
While the production of domestic vaccines is underway, the government has speeded up foreign procurement to inoculate prioritized groups.
It is negotiating with vaccine manufacturers in the U.S., Russia and some other countries to ensure it can obtain a total 150 million doses to cover 70 percent of the country’s population this year.
It has also approved the use of Moderna and Sputnik V vaccines.
“Both sides prudently adapted to the new situation and maintained the momentum of engagements, including high-level engagements, through virtual platforms,” he told VnExpress.
India and Vietnam also maintained close communication on controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
The Military Medical Departments of both countries held on-line interactions to exchange valuable experiences and discuss responses including diagnosis, preventive measures and treatment. India also conducted an online Covid-19 management course for military officials of Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.
Thanks to strict quarantine and tracking measures, Vietnam has managed to contain its Covid-19 outbreaks with fewer than 3,000 infections and just 35 deaths in a population of 98 million; while India has reported a significant drop in the number of Covid-19 cases for several months.
“Our Navies and Coast Guards are engaged in regular exchange of ship visits and port calls. Cooperation in the United Nations Peace Keeping Operations is another key area of our cooperation,” Verma said.
The Indian Navy’s anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kiltan arrived in HCMC for a three-day visit last December to strengthen bilateral maritime cooperation and deliver humanitarian assistance, including relief goods for flood-affected people in central Vietnam.
Bilateral defense industry collaboration also made significant progress in 2020 through continued implementation of credit lines to strengthen Vietnam’s defense manufacturing capability, Verma added.
In addition, important bilateral agreements were signed last year for cooperation in the fields of Hydrography and U.N. Peace Keeping Operations.
As part of the project for building 12 high-speed patrol vessels for Vietnam Border Guard under India’s $100 million line of credit, five vessels are being built at the Larsen & Toubro shipyard in Chennai, with the rest to be built at Hong Ha shipyard in northern port city Hai Phong under the Indian firm’s supervision.
Verma stressed that defense partnership between the two countries has developed in recent times thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation signed in 2009 and the India-Vietnam Joint Vision on Defense Cooperation signed in 2015.
“Defense and security cooperation between India and Vietnam is an important pillar of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and reflects the deep levels of mutual trust and understanding between our two countries,” he added.
During a virtual summit last December, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc reaffirmed their joint vision for peace, prosperity and development of the India-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership.
Both leaders also expressed their resolve to step up bilateral defense exchanges and affirmed that enhanced defense and security partnership between India and Vietnam will be an important factor of stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“As a close partner of India with multifaceted political, economic and security cooperation and as a key link in India’s engagement with ASEAN, Vietnam is clearly an indispensable partner in our Indo-Pacific Vision, based on our shared values and interests in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region,” Verma said.
Vietnam and India established diplomatic relations in 1972 and their relationship has developed strongly in recent years .
Frontline healthcare workers at National Hospitals for Tropical Diseases in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and people in Hai Duong, the epicenter of the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak have been selected to receive first shots this time.
Three Deputy Ministers of Health have fanned out to oversee the vaccination in Hanoi, HCM City and Hai Duong, according to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.
This is the first time Vietnam has launched the national COVID-19 vaccination campaign, using more than 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine imported last month.
The vaccine has passed quality tests by leading professionals from the MoH and their counterparts from the Republic of Korea.
Top priority will be given to the safety of the vaccine, said Minister Long, adding doctors have been equipped with necessary knowledge to deal with possible emergency cases.
The vaccination will be monitored by representatives of foreign organisations in Vietnam. Foreign media workers will be also invited to give news coverage of the event.
Vietnam imported more than 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in late February. This is the first batch of the 30 million doses that Vietnam is expected to receive from AstraZeneca this year under a recently-signed deal with the manufacturer.
It is anticipated to receive another 30 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine this year from COVAX, a COVID-19 vaccination mechanism co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
Vietnam is negotiating to import a further 30 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine of the United States this year.