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Constant efforts made to ensure safety of COVID-19 inoculation drive

The Ministry of Health has exerted efforts in steering the COVID-19 immunisation campaign in an effective and cautious manner so as to ensure safety in all stages of examination and screening before vaccination, Deputy Minister of Health Tran Van Thuan has affirmed.

He made the remark during a meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control held on March 12 under the chair of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the committee.

As of 5 pm on March 12, the campaign has been rolled out at 12 locations across 10 provinces and cities, with 1,702 people getting shots.

Of them, 474 were in the southern hub of Ho Chi Minh City, 293 in Hai Duong in the north and 200 in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai.

Eleven of the vaccinated displayed normal symptoms already predicted like pain at the injection spot, and all of them are now in stable conditions.

People getting vaccinated will receive a QR code matching with their health insurance number, which is linked with the electronic health records.

First batches of COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX Facility, including about 1.37 million doses of AstraZeneca, are set to arrive in Vietnam on March 25, heard the meeting.

Earlier, the global initiative committed 30 million doses for Vietnam this year in several phases.

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has negotiated with other vaccine developers in the world in an endeavour to expand the COVID-19 vaccine coverage across the country.

The MoH also called on firms to access other vaccine suppliers to import the vaccines for domestic use, in accordance with Resolution No. 21 of the Government on the purchase and use of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Steering Committee affirmed the use of all channels to bolster negotiations on vaccine procurement, stating that even when there are sufficient doses of vaccine, equitable access must be ensured under the MoH’s coordination.

It also asked the ministry to devise a system to keep watch on those who are at high-risk of infection.

Relevant agencies were requested to complete a technical platform, paving the way for the “visa vaccine” policy by this April.

At the meeting, experts also underlined an order to review units which are responsible for COVID-19 testing, following several cases tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 abroad although their samples at home showed negative results.

Since January 25, Vietnam reported 897 COVID-19 cases in 13 localities, 11 of them underwent more than 23 days without new infections./.