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Health Ministry will do its utmost to ensure safety during COVID-19 vaccinations: Minister

The Ministry of Health will mobilise all resources to carry out COVID-19 vaccinations, the largest-ever vaccination programme, so as to ensure absolute safety for people, Minister Nguyen Thanh Long has said.

Long chaired a teleconference which was organised on March 6 and connected with 700 places across Vietnam to launch the vaccination plan and provide related training for medical workers nationwide in the use and storage of the vaccine, as well as the treatment of post-injection complications.

He informed the teleconference that the vaccination programme will start on March 8, although the first batch of vaccine arrived in Vietnam on February 24.

“As the vaccine is new, we need to carry out thoroughly,” Long said, adding that Vietnam has to obtained an accreditation certificate from the producer and reassess the safety index of the batch of vaccine.

Because of the limited number of vaccine, the ministry cannot allocate for all 63 provinces and cities, but for 13 pandemic-hit localities, with priority given to Hai Duong province – Vietnam’s largest outbreak at present, he added.

The minister asked localities which have yet to receive the vaccine to prepare and make training programmes as the ministry will allocate vaccines to them when more are transported to Vietnam in March.

COVAC and AstraZeneca have agreed to provide 30 million doses each for Vietnam this year, the minister said, adding the ministry asked the producers to hand over the vaccines to Vietnam before September and is negotiating with Pfizer to buy an additional 30 million doses from this producer.

The ministry has assigned three deputy ministers to be responsible for directing the vaccinations as this kind of vaccine is injected for the first time and injected for adults.

Vietnam will conduct screening check-ups before infections to ensure safety, although the process takes more time. The first injections, he went on, will be given to people working on the front line of the fight against COVID-19, including health, army, police, customs and immigration personnel.

People getting the shots will be monitored via digital health records and receive e-certificates for their completion of inoculation.