31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Mar 17, 2021 / 12:04

Vietnamese peacekeepers injected with Covid-19 vaccine

The vaccination is aimed to store up the peacekeepers' confidence before departing for South Sudan.

A total of 64 Vietnamese military medics have received their first shot of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine before joining the United Nation (UN)s’ peacekeeping mission in the Republic of South Sudan on March 24.

The vaccination was carried out on March 16 at Ho Chi Minh City-based Military Hospital 175 under the Ministry of National Defense.

The first shot was given to those who are scheduled to enter service at level-2 field hospital No.3 in South Sudan.

Their inoculation was part of the administration of Vietnam’s first batch of 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived late last month.

 Captain Tran Thuan Trang (Chief Nurse, Field Hospital 2.3) is one of the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Photo: Lao Dong

The doctors from Vietnam’s second and third field hospitals are scheduled to join a long peacekeeping mission in South Sudan next week as part of the UN peacekeeping forces. The vaccination would be their great encouragement.

According to protocol, each will be given two doses of the vaccine, with 12 week-interval between doses.

Major General Nguyen Hong Son, director of the Military Hospital 175, said the hospital would send the vaccine to South Sudan so that the medics can get the second dose at the second-level Field Hospital there.

The move was to protect the health of the medics on duty in South Sudan as well as enhancing their confidence to fulfill their duties, Son said, adding that safety was given top priority during the vaccination campaign.

“Those who receive the shot are required to stay in hospital for half an hour for medical surveillance,” said Son. “Their health will be then closely monitored within 24 hours.”

Captain Tran Thuan Trang, chief nurse of the field hospital, who was the first person to be vaccinated against the virus that causes Covid-19 said that the immunization makes her and other colleagues feel more reassured before they undertake their mission in South Sudan.

Vietnam has enlarged its role in UN peacekeeping efforts and is taking part in more operations in Africa. In October 2018, for the first time, Vietnam sent a team of military doctors to work at the UN field hospital in South Sudan. The second such team left for South Sudan in October 2019.

South Sudan has recorded over 9,500 infections and 104 deaths so far.

Last year, the UN requested Vietnam to set up a Covid-19 testing center in South Sudan thanks to its successful efforts in containing the disease. The testing center would help increase the UN’s capability to fight Covid-19 across the area, overseen by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.