Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that all the vaccines used in Vietnam have been licensed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and are being used in other countries.
Long, at an online meeting reviewing the fight against Covid-19 on August 2, showed his impatience about the slow vaccination pace.
“Localities need to accelerate vaccination. The process is going too slowly. Some provinces have not gone to the central vaccine warehouses to get vaccines and haven't vaccinated their people. Other provinces are too cautious and only organize vaccinations at hospitals,” Long said.
The Minister has signed a document requesting all localities to speed up vaccinations, with no limitation on vaccination points and number of shots each day. In the localities which lack houses to organize vaccinations, they can set up tents, provided that the regulation on distancing between people is observed.
The amount of time that people have to stay after getting injections will be determined by localities.
“We need to vaccinate people as quickly as possible. We will have 47-50 million more Pfizer doses to come in October-December. And we will also have other vaccines as well. This really worries us,” he said.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has organized many training courses about vaccinations. All the needles and accessories are ready. However, the vaccination progress is still going slowly.
In order to speed up vaccinations, it’s necessary to mobilize all resources to organize the screening of people before injections, use the vaccines available, and not wait for other vaccines. The lockdown areas need to speed up vaccinations.
MOH has released instructions about the mixing of Covid-19 vaccines for the first and second shots. Those who get AstraZeneca for the first shot can get Pfizer vaccine for the second shot, and vice versa. However, the Moderna supplier hasn't agreed to mix vaccines. There has been no guidance on this yet for Sinopharm and Sputnik V vaccines.
Long asked localities’ leaders to check their cold storage system to protect vaccines at the temperatures of 2-8oC.
“Many localities don’t have enough cold cabinets to contain vaccines. We have planned the amount of vaccine doses to be provided from now to the end of the year, so provinces should prepare cold storage and upgrade warehouses if necessary,” Long said.
Central hospitals will soon only give second shots of vaccines to focus on Covid-19 treatment in the south.
To date, more than 6.4 million doses of out of 16 million available doses (AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sputnik V) have been given.
More than 22 percent of HCMC population have received the first shot. The figure is 19 percent in Hanoi.
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation organized a webinar on August 4 to consult experts on the evaluation of clinical research data and approval of vaccines against COVID-19 in emergency situations.