A second booster shot, or a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine, is now recommended because immunity from a vaccine starts to wane after several months, Tang Chi Thuong, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said during the launch of a campaign to speed up the inoculation drive on Tuesday.
The municipal health authorities aim to increase the number of people in high-risk groups receiving the fourth shot, which will continue to protect individuals from serious illness, hospitalization, and death from the coronavirus.
By the end of 2021, Ho Chi Minh City had basically achieved herd immunity after rolling out massive vaccination drives since March 8 the same year, according to Thuong.
However, the achievement made people become heedless of booster doses.
“We launch this campaign to make people understand that former doses’ protection would wane over time and an additional booster shot can optimize the body’s immune system to fight against severe disease from COVID-19,” Thuong said.
|An elderly receives a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, June 14, 2022. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre|
Elderly people, especially those having mobility difficulties, have been targeted for the second round of boosters, with health workers ready to give them the shots at home.
Many people living in Ward 25 of Binh Thanh District visited their local cultural house on Tuesday to receive the fourth jabs.
Ho Chi Minh City started giving out fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines last month.
Vietnam has administered at least 224,137,582 doses of COVID-19 vaccines so far.
Given two doses for every person, the amount is more than enough to vaccinate all of the country’s 98-million population.
With over 10.7 million cases overall and more than 43,000 deaths, the country has suffered one of the worst COVID-19 crises in Southeast Asia, although new daily infections have fallen significantly, at an average of 897 per day compared to more than 100,000 cases in previous months, according to news site VnExpress’ statistics.