HCM City vaccinates children, uses anti-viral drug molnupiravir to treat home-based COVID-19 patients

August 28, 2021 - 07:15

HCM City has begun vaccinating children and giving the antiviral drug molnupiravir to COVID-19 patients staying at home who have mild symptoms.


The anti-viral drug molnupiravir is transported to districts in HCM City on August 27 for treatment of COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms who have been allowed to stay at home. – Photo tuoitre.vn

HCM CITY – HCM City has just launched a mobile application called “Y Tế HCM” (HCM City Health) to help monitor COVID patients at home, which can be found on the App Store and Google Play.

Users can make a daily health declaration, quickly contact health authorities in case of emergencies, and seek health consultation from medical staff or the app’s virtual assistant.

The application was launched by the city’s Department of Health, Department of Information and Communication, Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Group, FPT Group, and a network of medical staff.

Many mild and asymtomatic COVID-19 cases are treating themselves at home to relieve the burden on hospitals under the city’s “home-based care” programme, which provides medicine packages and instructions to patients at home.

The Ministry of Health on August 25 announced that the antiviral drug molnupiravir will be part of the medicine package.

Yesterday, 16,000 doses of the drug were sent to districts across the city to be distributed to COVID patients who are under quarantine at home. 

The drug has been designated only for people with mild symptoms, and its usage will be carefully monitored by medical staff.

According to the Ministry of Health, 360 patients have used the drugs in two phases of clinical trials.

A review of phase 1 with 160 participants evaluated on August 24 initially gave positive results for safety and tolerance, especially for the ability to clear the viral load in patients who have moderate or mild symptoms within five days.

Molnupiravir was developed by the US-based pharmaceutical companies Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck & Co., Inc.

Việt Nam is importing the medicine, and domestic manufacturers of the drug are sponsoring it.


According to a plan issued by the HCM City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 15, districts can start inoculating children aged 12 to 18 if there are enough suitable vaccines for the age group, from September 1 to 15.

According to the HCM City Centre for Disease Control, as of August 27, the city was treating about 38,000 COVID-19 patients, including more than 2,300 children under 16 years old. 

HCM City has been pushing to vaccinate adults as quickly as possible.

Nguyễn Hoài Nam, deputy director of HCM City Department of Health, said that over 76 per cent of adults over the age of 18 in the city have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot, and more than 3 per cent have received their second shot.

HCM City is working to ensure that city residents can get their second shot in the appropriate timeframe for different brands of vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine's second shot should be administered three to four weeks after the first.

HCM City, Việt Nam’s COVID-19 epicentre, has had more than 194,000 cases since late April. 

There are more than 52,000 COVID-19 patients quarantining at home, including over 24,000 who were discharged and are self-monitoring at home.– VNS