Việt Nam gears up for rollout of fourth COVID-19 vaccine shots

Update: May, 14/2022 - 09:15


Elderly people in Tây Mỗ Ward, Nam Từ Liêm District, Hà Nội receive COVID-19 vaccines in early 2022. Seniors are set to be the first to get the fourth vaccine shots in the upcoming rollout. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hiếu

HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese health ministry has asked provincial/municipal health departments to provide the tentative number of vaccines needed for the rollout of second COVID-19 booster shots (fourth doses) before May 25, 2022.

The second boosters will for now be for adults over 50 years, or people from 18 years old with immunocompromised conditions from mild to severe level, or people from 18 years old who are at risk of exposure to the virus (frontline healthcare workers, officials, and workers at industrial parks, etc.).

The latest document was sent to local health departments, health department of the public security ministry, and the military medicine department, Pasteur institutes and the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE).

mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) as well as AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines are used as the fourth, and the recommendation is that the fourth dose should be the same as the one offered in the third dose.

The administration of the fourth dose should be at least four months since the third dose, while those who have contracted COVID-19 could wait for three months from the time of recovery for the fourth dose.

Local health departments are asked to work with local authorities to make preparations for the fourth dose campaign.

Pasteur institutes and NIHE are asked to compile the demand on vaccine numbers to submit to the health ministry before May 30, 2022, as well as provide local health departments with necessary training and guidance.

The health ministry also asked for expediting of the rollout of the third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for the adult population (aged 18 and above) and the rollout of the primary course to children aged 12-17 to complete coverage within the second quarter of the year.

As of May 4, 2022, over 215 million doses have been administered across the country, according to the health ministry, with nearly 100 per cent of adults having been fully vaccinated.

Nearly 100 per cent of children in the age range 12-17 have received at least one dose of vaccine, as 96.4 per cent are fully vaccinated.

13.7 per cent of the children from five to 12 years old have received their first doses of vaccines, since the national rollout began in early April this year.

The COVID-19 situation in Việt Nam is looking positive as metrics like daily caseload, hospitalisations, and death rates are declining, and most COVID-19 curbs have been lifted, except for masking. — VNS