Mar 06, 2021 / 19:49

Vietnam ready for its first vaccination program on March 8

The MoH is working with the COVAX to arrange for another shipment of 1.3 million doses to arrive at Vietnam in March.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) would mobilize all resources to carry out Vietnam’s largest vaccination program yet with an estimated of 100 million doses.

 Local volunteer vaccinated with domestic Covid-19 vaccine named Nanocovax in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Tu

Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long made the statement at an online conference discussing plan for the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program held today [March 6].

“With the country’s first Covid-19 vaccine doses set to be administered on March 8 in the northern province of Hai Duong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, there would no doubt be side effects, but this is not the reason for Vietnam to stop the vaccination program,” stated Long.

According to Long, Covid-19 vaccines are developed and manufactured in the shortest time in the history of vaccine development, so the effective period of vaccines varies from six months to two years.

“In addition to importing vaccines, Vietnam would accelerate the R&D processes for domestic Covid-19 vaccines to ensure long-term public health security,” Long added.

The minister suggested any post-vaccination side effects is possible, as not any vaccine can be 100% safe.

“As the vaccine is new, so the vaccination program will be carried out in a cautious manner,” added Long, saying local health authorities have evaluated the safety of vaccines in Vietnam.

With the limited amount of vaccine doses, Long said the MoH would prioritize vaccination for 13 cities and provinces of high risk.

“The MoH is working with the COVAX to arrange for another shipment of 1.3 million doses to arrive at Vietnam in March,” he informed.

Vaccine passport

Under the government resolution NO.21 on the 11 priority groups, Long said the first doses of Covid-19 vaccines would be allocated for health workers at 21 health facilities with the highest level of risks, followed by front-line workers of the Covid-19 fight in Hai Duong, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

One of a key point in Vietnam’s vaccination program is that health officials would carry out health check-up for locals before vaccination to ensure safety.

Every people getting vaccinated will be added into a database for supervision.

“Vietnam’s vaccination system would later be integrated with other countries, which would serve as a basis for vaccine passport, and is managed via QR code,” Long noted.

Last month, Vietnam received more than 204,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca as part the WHO-led COVAX Facility vaccine-sharing scheme.

Vietnam has been negotiating with AstraZeneca to import 30 million doses for 2021 and another 33 million doses from COVAX.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are possible side effects after getting a Covid-19 vaccine including: pain, redness, swelling, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.