Swine influenza vaccine
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./.
The General Department of Sports and Physical Training has made a list of coaches and athletes who will be given priority for Covid-19 vaccinations in preparation for the upcoming international sports tournaments.
The national football squad of Vietnam.
In 2021, Vietnamese sports and football have many important tasks, especially the 2022 World Cup qualifying in Asia, Olympics, 31st SEA Games, and AFF Cup, among others.
The Government has just issued Resolution No. 21/NQ-CP on the purchase and use of Covid-19 vaccines. The resolution names eight groups of subjects who will be given priority for free vaccinations. The list does not mention sports coaches and athletes.
According to Deputy Director General Tran Duc Phan of the General Department of Sports and Physical Training, this agency has just made a list of coaches and athletes who are about to compete at the Olympic qualifying round 2021.
“We have just asked for Covid-19 vaccination for the athletes who are going to compete at the 2021 Olympic qualifiers. For the 31st SEA Games, we have not had a plan. Before the Games, based on the actual situation, we will make specific proposals,” said Phan.
The Olympic qualifier 2021 will continue through the end of May 2021, so the vaccination for coaches and athletes is very urgent. The General Department of Sports and Physical Training is still waiting for approval from the authorities.
In Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Thailand are offering Covid-19 vaccines for athletes and coaches. Indonesia has vaccinated more than 800 people, including staff, coaches, athletes and medical staff who are attending the upcoming SEA Games.
The Vietnamese football team is also waiting to be vaccinated. A Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) official said that VFF had consulted with the General Department of Sports and Physical Training on this issue, but it has not received a response yet.
“The resolution on Covid-19 vaccination does not list athletes, but it does give priority to those sent by state agencies to work and study abroad. So we can understand that the Vietnamese football team competing in the 2022 World Cup qualifier is like going on a business trip abroad. The sports sector will ask for the Government and the Ministry of Health’s approval,” said Phan.
Meanwhile, rivals of Vietnam’s at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers are rushing to vaccinate against Covid-19 for their players. The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) The National News reported that the UAE government has prepared 6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, enough for about 60% of the UAE’s population. The UAE football team is in the priority group for vaccination, as they are on an international mission this June.
Similarly, the Thai team will be vaccinated before the World Cup qualifiers in June, while the group of athletes participating in the upcoming SEA Games in Vietnam will also be vaccinated as soon as possible.
In February, the national team and U22 football teams of Indonesia were vaccinated in Jakarta. The Indonesian team is the first rival of the Vietnamese team in the coming 2022 World Cup qualifier this June.
|Vaccine passports – the future?, illustration photo, source: internet|
At the end of December, thousands of Europeans received the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine after the company received authorisation in the EU. Since then, other countries such as the US, Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, India, and several Asian countries, including Vietnam, have also started to receive or order vaccines to prepare for mass vaccination programmes.
This has awakened optimism about an end to the pandemic and the idea of a vaccine passport.
A heated discussion
Some parts of the world, such as the Seychelles, Cyprus, and Romania, have begun to remove quarantine requirements for visitors who have been vaccinated. In early January, Denmark also announced that it would issue vaccine passports to citizens within the next three to four months.
To get digital vaccine passports, Danish citizens will have to declare their medical and vaccination status on a government-issued app. Owners of such passports will be able to return to Denmark without quarantine and receive access to bars, restaurants, and hotels.
Iceland became the first European nation to issue vaccine certificates in late January. While Greece also announced it will unveil a digital vaccination certificate for those who have received two doses of the vaccine, Israel recently announced that a so-called Green Badge will allow vaccinated people to go to restaurants, attend public events, and travel freely. Other countries that are currently issuing or waiting for vaccine passports include the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden.
Despite being supported by several countries and seen as a necessary condition for freedom of movement, vaccine passports have received mixed reactions in many places. The UK, the first in the world to vaccinate people against COVID-19, had previously denied plans for vaccine passports to allow people to travel abroad, but they can ask for proof of vaccination in case they need to travel.
One of the reasons not to issue a vaccine passport is that COVID-19 vaccination is not compulsory in the UK, said MP Nadhim Zahawi. The EU is also divided over vaccine passports. Some, such as France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as organisations like the World Health Organization and the European Commission, also argued that vaccine passports do not ensure safe travel.
In France, Health Minister Olivier Véran has repeatedly said it is too early to discuss vaccination passports since fewer than 2.5 million French people have received the first dose and because it is unclear whether the vaccine prevents transmission.
Meanwhile, Germany also advised not to loosen many of the restrictions. To date, the 27 EU member states have only agreed on mutual recognition of COVID-19 test results. The introduction of vaccine passports remains a story of the future, especially as more new coronavirus variants are discovered. The European Commission says it will not be rushed into a decision on passports while only 3 per cent of Europeans have been vaccinated.
The US also expressed caution with vaccine passports as President Biden asked government agencies to evaluate the feasibility of linking coronavirus vaccine certificates with other vaccination documents and producing digital versions of them.
Although controversies abound, governments and technology firms around the world are leaning towards using vaccine passports to recover the economy and revive the tourism and entertainment industries.
Some companies and tech groups like IBM have also started to develop smartphone applications where users can upload detailed information about their tests and vaccinations to create a digital health certificate or use QR codes to display their vaccination status to the authorities without disclosing sensitive information.
Zurab Pololikashvili, secretary general of the UN’s World Tourism Organization, has called on the world to apply vaccine passports on a larger scale as an indispensable element for the tourism industry’s recovery.
“One key element vital for the restart of tourism is consistency and harmonisation of rules and protocols regarding international travel,” he said in an email. “Evidence of vaccination, for example, through the coordinated introduction of what may be called ‘health passports’ can offer this. They can also eliminate the need for quarantine on arrival, a policy which is also standing in the way of the return of international tourism.”
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) supports vaccine passports and also piloted their digital application called IATA Travel Pass piloted on Singapore Airlines flights late last year. IATA said it could expand the programme to other destinations if the pilot is successful.
Singapore Airlines also plans to incorporate health certifications into a mobile app in mid-2021. Passengers who have tested for COVID-19 at clinics designated by the airline will be issued an electronic certificate with a QR code or a paper health certificate.
Some airlines, like Qantas, said they would make vaccine documentation mandatory on all flights while Gulf Air, Emirates, and Etihad will test a travel pass designed by the IATA.
In Vietnam, the first batch of vaccines was imported a few days ago as the first happy signal for reopening. Once the country is truly safe from the pandemic, ministries and departments will study to issue a passport similar to the vaccine passports.
However, tourism expert Truong Nam Thang, a member of tourism research projects of the Tourism Advisory Board and the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that by December, the nation will temporarily achieve herd immunity in key economic and tourism cities. By June 2022, Vietnam hopes to reach herd immunity across the country.
Thus, it will not be until the end of the second quarter of 2022 that Vietnam can normalise international trade as well as gradually restore tourism and international travel.
By Thai Anh
Vietnam’s Ministry of Health recorded only one domestic COVID-19 case on Sunday, a day before the nation starts mass inoculation with AstraZeneca.
The latest local infection was registered in Hai Duong Province, which is the country’s current epicenter.
The patient had been exposed to an infection and been quarantined since February 25.
The health ministry also logged four imported cases the same day, including two in Bac Ninh Province in the north and two in Kien Giang Province in the south.
Vietnam had gone nearly two months without any domestic COVID-19 cases before it found the first one on January 27 and confirmed it one day later, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.
A total of 892 local cases have been announced 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.
Hai Duong alone accounts for 708 cases, while Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have confirmed 35 and 36 patients, respectively.
The southern city has recorded zero new local cases for 24 days.
Vietnam has recorded 2,512 coronavirus cases as of Sunday night, including 1,585 local infections and 35 virus-related fatalities, according to the Ministry of Health’s data.
A total of 1,920 patients have recovered from the respiratory disease.
The dead had suffered from comorbid medical problems, including 31 in Da Nang, three in Quang Nam Province, and one in Quang Tri Province.
Vietnam will start vaccinating people in the said provinces and cities as well as other priority groups , including frontline workers, diplomats, military and police officers, and teachers on Monday.
The country currently has 117,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses it received on February 24 .
Vietnam aims to obtain 90 million COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of the year, including 30 million through the COVAX scheme co-led by WHO, 30 million through AstraZeneca, and the rest through negotiations with U.S. producers.