31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Mar 14, 2022 / 18:19

Vietnam sets target to complete administering booster shots in March

Vaccines are still effective in reducing severity, mortality and hospitalization, even with the Omicron strain.

Vietnam's Ministry of Health (MoH) is urging local authorities to accelerate the injection of the Covid-19 vaccine booster shot for the population aged over 18 to make sure all those eligible will receive the third dose within the first quarter of 2022.

As of March 14, Vietnam injected a total of around 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to its population, with most of the localities having substantially completed two primary doses for people aged 12 and above. 

The MoH has requested localities nationwide to keep screening people aged 12 and above to ensure no eligible people would be left without being fully vaccinated.

Heath Minister Nguyen Thanh Long told a recent meeting of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control that current vaccines are still effective in reducing severity, mortality and hospitalization, even with the Omicron strain. Many countries around the world are taking steps toward living with Covid-19 and treating it as endemic, Long noted.

He said vaccination must be considered a top priority in addition to precautionary measures amid the possibility of re-infection with the Omicron mutant, stressing the importance of the booster shots. "The booster shot helps reduce severe cases and deaths. We appreciate a number of localities that have injected the third dose for 100% local residents," Long said.

Vaccination at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases 2 in Hanoi. Photo: Ngoc Tu/The Hanoi Times

Although the number of daily cases has been rising fast, the rate of hospitalization, severe cases and deaths have significantly dropped, Long said, adding that the health system remains in stable condition and has increased its capacity to resuscitate and treat severe cases.

Given the growing number of infections, the ministry will continue monitoring the pandemic situation and the evolution of virus strains toward considering Covid-19 a common disease at an appropriate time.  

Covid-19 infections in Hanoi increase tenfold in a month

Hanoi has recorded an average of 30,000 new Covid-19 cases per day over the last week, a tenfold spike from a month ago, becoming the locality with the highest number of infections.

The Hanoi Department of Health said the number of infections likely rises even further but notes that the hospitalization rate is just 1-1.5%, showing a downward trend. Meanwhile, more than 95% of the treated Covid-19 patients have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic and the mortality rate is 0.4%, according to the department.

“The number of infections remains inaccurate because many Covid-19 patients do not report or software updates are overloaded,” Tran Thi Nhi Ha, director of the municipal Department of Health, told The Hanoi Times via phone.

She also said that it was difficult to predict Covid-19 developments in Hanoi right now.

“It may take a few more weeks to hit its peak,” Ha stressed, adding that Omicron is currently the most common Covid-19 strain circulating in the capital city.