People wait for their turn to receive the injection. — VNA/VNS Photos Đan Phương
HCM CITY — A total of 85,608 people in HCM City were vaccinated with Sinopharm's COVID-19 vaccine (Vero Cell) on Saturday, the municipal Department of Health announced on Sunday.
The doses used are part of the first shipment of 1 million doses of the Chinese vaccine that were imported by HCM City-based Sapharco under the sponsorship of the private group Vạn Thịnh Phát and delivered to the southern city last month.
Another one million doses of the 5-million-doses contract arrived at Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport on Saturday, pending quality controls before being administered.
The department also said that two districts including Phú Nhuận and Cần Giờ had completed the first dose vaccination for people over 18 years old. Specifically, Phú Nhuận District has a vaccination rate of 152,387 out of 163,961 people, reaching 92.94 per cent of the population. Cần Giờ District has vaccinated 54,130 people, reaching 97.3 per cent. The district has more than 71,000 people, of which those over 18 years old number more than 59,000.
A medical worker consults a resident before the injection.
Trần Thị Xuân Hải and her son had the vaccination at the An Hội Primary School in Gò Vấp District in an excited mood.
"Before getting the injection, I was told that I was to be vaccinated with Vero Cell vaccine, but I was not worried. I think any type of vaccine is fine as long as the disease could be prevented, and the sooner is the better. The doctor here enthusiastically consulted us about the vaccination and I felt even more reassured. After the injection, I feel that I am still healthy," said Hải.
People fill in their personal information and sign to agree to receive the vaccine.
A medical worker gives a Vero Cell vaccination to a resident.
Nguyễn Công Sơn, 55, in Gò Vấp District, said he was advised by the medical staff about the type of vaccine being injected. Believing in the State, he did not hesitate and signed to agree to receive the Vero Cell vaccine.
Nguyễn Hồng Lâm, deputy chairman of the Ward 12 People’s Committee in Gò Vấp District, said the ward had given clear information about the vaccine and injection work to local residents.
All of the injection sites were organised well to ensure security and preventive measures.
HCM City's officials have said that the injection of the vaccines are voluntary and all vaccination sites communicate clearly with the people about the vaccine being offered, amid some hesitancy against the Chinese vaccine, despite it having been approved by WHO and the Vietnamese health ministry.
On Friday, for example, a video clip circulating online showed people leaving a vaccination site on Huyền Trân Công Chúa Street, District 1, HCM City, after being told by health workers that AstraZeneca vaccines had run out and only Sinopharm vaccines were left, on the first day of the 1 million shipment being rolled out. HCM City's representative said they are aware of the incident but the administration of Chinese vaccine still continued at the site throughout the day.
17,916 doses of Sinopharm's vaccine were administered on Friday, according to the city's health authorities.
To date, Việt Nam has received 2.5 million doses of Sinopharm vaccines, with the 500,000 doses donated by the Chinese Government in June reserved for people in border areas neighbouring China, Chinese nationals in Việt Nam, and people who wish to go to China for trade, studying or work, as well as those who have the need for the vaccine.
HCM City is currently the biggest COVID-19 hot spots with healthcare system straining to deal with the large caseload, and amid global shortage, the city is quickly running out of vaccines to give to its residents.
Việt Nam currently relies mostly on Western vaccines, primarily AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer, in its mass vaccination drive. — VNS