Duong Thi Hong, deputy head of the NIHE, said the Ministry of Health is creating a Covid-19 vaccination guideline, including measures to take should there be blood clot cases following inoculation, despite Vietnam having yet to record any cases.
“We would also create documents to inform people on how to detect abnormal symptoms following inoculation. For example, sudden stomachache or headache that do not subside after a few days means doctors must be informed to deploy a treatment regime promptly,” she said.
Vietnam has always regarded vaccine safety along with vaccination coverage for its people, adding that medical authorities have deployed measures like mandatory health screening before vaccination, said Hong.
“We use the monitoring system for post-vaccination effects, which is part of the national vaccination program that has been deployed for over a decade,” she added.
The NIHE constantly monitors post-vaccination effects every day, she said.
“At the end of each afternoon, the Office for the Extended National Vaccination Program would receive reports from all localities on the number of people vaccinated and those who experienced side effects. Based on such data, we can get a general idea of the safety level during the vaccination process,” Hong said.
All medical workers participating in the vaccination program are trained on how to administer the vaccine and how to respond should there be severe side effects, she added.
Vietnam is also utilizing a digital health profile system for citizens to report on their health status following vaccination, and medical authorities could analyze such data, she said.
So far, over 80,000 people in Vietnam have been vaccinated against Covid-19 using a vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca, of whom around 33 percent experience side effects, which is still within the threshold cautioned by manufacturers. All cases with severe side effects have recovered, said Hong.
Reports on blood clot cases following Covid-19 vaccination by AstraZeneca have surfaced globally as of late and have prompted certain countries to either temporarily suspend its use or restrict its usage on certain age groups. Last week, Denmark became the first country to stop AstraZeneca vaccine rollout entirely.
Vietnam said it would continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine for its mass vaccination program.
Within this year, the country is expected to receive 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses either through contracts or the global vaccine access mechanism Covax. It aims to secure 150 million doses to cover 75 percent of its population by next year.