Hanoi plans to vaccinate both residents and non-residents against COVID-19, Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the municipal Center for Disease Control (CDC) said on Thursday.
Addressing reporters’ questions at a municipal meeting on the same day, Tuan said authorities in the capital have been very proactive in sourcing coronavirus vaccine doses.
“On February 19, the municipal authorities sent a written petition to the Ministry of Health to ensure the city’s access to the vaccine source,” Tuan said.
The early request, according to him, is to secure adequate inoculation for all eligible citizens 18 years old and older in the capital.
The COVID-19 immunization will also cover non-residents, Tuan noted.
Vietnam currently has 117,600 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on February 24.
“According to the priority order of the Ministry of Health, the shots will be distributed to 13 provinces and cities that have reported COVID-19 infections, including Hanoi,” said the Hanoi CDC deputy director.
The top priority will be given to Hai Duong, now an epicenter in northern Vietnam, Tuan explained.
“Therefore, the number of shots left for Hanoi will be limited,” he said.
“We will prioritize those in the anti-pandemic front line.”
Funds for the vaccination, Tuan said, can come from three sources, including the state budget, donations by individuals and businesses, and self-pay vaccine users, in accordance with the resolution of the government.
As scheduled, the Ministry of Health will organize vaccination training for the entire preventive medicine system of 63 provinces and cities on March 6.
Vietnam had spent nearly two months detecting zero community cases before it found the first one on January 27 and confirmed it one day later, according to the health ministry’s data.
A total of 879 local cases have been confirmed in 13 provinces and cities since then, making it the most serious wave to have struck Vietnam after the first-ever COVID-19 patient was announced in the country on January 23, 2020.
In this latest wave, 695 cases were registered in Hai Duong, 61 in Quang Ninh Province, 27 in Gia Lai Province, 35 in Hanoi, five in Bac Ninh Province, two in Bac Giang Province, 36 in Ho Chi Minh City, two in Hoa Binh Province, one in Ha Giang Province, three in Dien Bien Province, six in Binh Duong Province, four in Hai Phong, and two in Hung Yen Province.
The country has recorded 2,488 coronavirus cases as of Friday morning, including 1,572 local infections and 35 virus-related fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health.