Vietnam’s Ministry of Health has announced 11 groups of individuals who will be the first to receive COVID-19 vaccination in the country next month.
According to guidance signed by Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen, the prioritized groups of individuals are listed as follows:
- Health workers
- Staff members of all-level steering committees for COVID-19 prevention and control, quarantine facilities, and reporters in virus-hit areas
- Diplomatic staff, customs officers, and immigration officers
- Public security officers
- Military units
- People over 65 years old
- People working in essential services (aviation, transportation, tourism, utility supply, etc.)
- People with chronic diseases
- People who need to work or study abroad
- People in epicenters
Vaccinations will be implemented nationwide, while the order of priority for each locality will depend on the number of COVID-19 cases and virus-related deaths, urban areas and population, and important traffic hubs.
The health ministry will only purchase safe and highly protective vaccines that have been assessed by the World Health Organization and approved by a stringent regulatory authority and is sold at suitable prices.
Vietnam to have 60 million doses in 2021
A program of the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX), co-led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and World Health Organization, will provide free vaccines and vaccination materials for 15-16 percent of the population of 92 member countries, including Vietnam.
COVAX has agreed to supply Vietnam with 30 million vaccine doses in 2021, according to Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long.
COVAX has sent a letter confirming that 4.8 million of these vaccine shots will be sent to the country in the first and second quarter of 2021, while the rest are expected to arrive in the third and fourth quarter.
The first 204,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are scheduled to arrive on February 28. The country will start immunization in March.
The sponsored vaccine doses will be AstraZeneca, similar to the jabs the Southeast Asian country has already purchased.
AstraZeneca has also agreed to supply another 30 million doses this year, Minister Long stated, adding that Vietnam will need approximately 150 million doses to vaccinate all residents.
The health ministry has recently carried out its examinations and confirmed that the existing cold storage system can keep up to three million doses at a deep negative temperature (-70 degrees Celsius), 1.8 million doses at -25 to -15 degrees Celsius, and tens of millions of shots at two to eight degrees Celsius.
Authorities in Hanoi, Quang Ninh Province, and Hai Phong City have asked the health ministry to help them with necessary procedures to purchase vaccines for local residents.
Among the three localities, Hanoi has proposed the purchase of 15 million doses.