Apr 06, 2021 / 17:48

Vietnam rushes for deadline of Covid-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has shelf life of six months.

Vietnam is speeding up the inoculation of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to its short shelf life.

 AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from COVAX arrives in Vietnam on April 1. Photo: WHO Vietnam

On April 6, the Ministry of Health urged authorities in 63 cities and provinces nationwide to submit before April 15 priority lists of people who are subject to the vaccination for quick vaccine allocation.

So far, Vietnam has administered vaccines to nearly 53,000 people out of 117,000 doses that arrived the country on February 24.

On April 1, it received 811,000 doses from the COVAX Facility – the global vaccine-sharing scheme and nearly 3.4 million doses from this source is scheduled to be delivered by the end of May.

UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Kamal Malhotra said the challenge facing COVAX vaccine recipients is short expiry date of AstraZeneca which is only six months.

Vietnam has listed 10 prioritized groups of people for immunization detailed below:

1. Health workers and frontline forces (members of the steering committee for Covid-19 prevention at all levels, people working in quarantine centers, contact tracers, volunteers, reporters, among others); army officers; policemen.

2. Vietnamese diplomats and their relatives working abroad; and officials who directly receive foreign diplomatic delegations.

3. Customs and state officials working in immigration service.

4. Essential providers in aviation, transportation, tourism, clean water, electricity, among others.

5. Teachers and employees in education sector; people working in administration agencies having frequent contact with others.

6. People with underlying diseases

7. Those above 65 years of age.

8. People in the pandemic-hit areas.

9. The poor and social beneficiaries.

10. People in overseas mission.

According to Prof. Tran Van Thuan, deputy Health Minister, the first shots should be taken to frontline health workers, people in affected areas and the elderly with underlying diseases.