Measures deployed to ensure safety during COVID-19 vaccination drive

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A medical worker in HCM City is receiving AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shot. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Hằng

HÀ NỘI — Minister of Health Nguyễn Thành Long has asked for thorough training of medical workers to ensure safety during COVID-19 vaccinations as Việt Nam plans to expand its inoculation programme.

Under a newly-issued directive, the minister asked local health departments to review and update the list of people to get vaccinated.

Medical schools and healthcare institutions were all called on to help organise vaccinations.

Medical staff responsible for delivering vaccine shots must undergo training classes to ensure proper vaccinating process, post-vaccination health monitoring and post-vaccination reactions are dealt with in a timely fashion.

Health departments were asked to support local authorities to boost communications on the vaccination programme, including information relating to priority groups, the vaccines in use, the benefits of vaccination and instructions to deal with post-vaccination incidents.

People are asked to use personal e-health record to register for vaccination so agencies can monitor their health, report the results of vaccine rollout and grant vaccination certificates.

Healthcare centres and hospitals were told to arrange staff and equipment to support vaccinating units, particularly to solve post-vaccination problems.

The minister’s directive also asked relevant agencies to work with news agencies and the media to speed up communications and call on people to get vaccinated.

Vaccine supply

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX initiative to Việt Nam will arrive in Hà Nội in April 1, with a batch of more 800,000 AstraZeneca vaccines would be delivered, stored at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and then distributed by the health ministry.

Previously, COVAX planned to provide Việt Nam with 1.37 million doses in late March but the amount has been cut back and delayed.

Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Việt Nam, the agency in charge of transporting the vaccines via COVAX Facility, said delays in vaccine production and delivery have been seen in all countries, not just Việt Nam.

COVAX had committed to providing Việt Nam with more than 4 million vaccines doses by the end of May, she said.

Việt Nam expects to get 60 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses this year, half purchased and the other half from COVAX.

Besides AstraZeneca, on March 23, Việt Nam approved the Sputnik V vaccine of Russia for use. The health ministry and vaccine suppliers, pharmacy firms have been working with other vaccine producers including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Indian firms and those from other countries on vaccine supplies.

Việt Nam also expects to see the completion of the third phase trial of its homegrown COVID-19 vaccine – Nanovax in late September.

To date, Việt Nam has received more than 117,000 AstraZeneca doses which the Government purchased from the manufacturer via the Việt Nam Vaccine Company (VNVC).

The vaccines have been distributed to localities to use for medical workers working on the frontlines against COVID-19.

According to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, as of Wednesday morning, 48,256 people, mostly frontline workers, in 19 provinces and cities throughout the country had received COVID-19 vaccine shots. — VNS

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