Residents aged 65 and over in HCM City’s Gò Vấp District receive vaccinations in August. VNA/VNS Photo Thu Hương
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Committee on Friday approved a proposal from the city Department of Health to shorten the interval between AstraZeneca vaccine doses to six weeks from a previous period of eight to 12 weeks.
If the city runs out of AstraZeneca vaccines, people who have received the first shot with AstraZeneca will be offered the Pfizer vaccine for the second shot.
Nguyễn Hữu Hưng, deputy head of the city Department of Health, said the vaccine efficacy of AstraZeneca with an interval of six weeks between shots is 59.7 per cent against any symptoms, even mild symptoms, according to some studies.
Australia has also reduced the interval for AstraZeneca to six weeks, saying that an interval of between four and eight weeks is preferred in an outbreak situation, according to a report in The Guardian on September 3.
The Ministry of Health, which approved shortening the interval between AstraZeneca vaccine doses to six weeks, said that AstraZeneca vaccine manufacturers had recommended an interval between four and 12 weeks. At 12 weeks, the efficacy rate against any symptoms goes up to 80 per cent, according to some studies.
Ventilator usage drops
Speaking at a press meeting on September 23, the city Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control said the number of severe COVID-19 cases using ventilators at hospitals in the city fell to 2,056 on September 22 from 2,234 on September 20 and 2,350 on September 18.
The committee said the drop in the number of severe cases using ventilators at hospitals was a positive sign for COVID-19 prevention and control.
Nguyễn Hồng Tâm, deputy head of the city Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention, said the rate of positive COVID-19 cases in the mass testing campaign on September 22-29 fell compared to the previous campaign.
The positive rate in safe, low-risk green zones was 0.1 per cent, 0.5 per cent for high-risk orange zones, and 0.7 per cent for very high-risk red zones.
From August 23 to September 15, the rate of people testing positive for coronavirus in red zones was 3.6 per cent. —VNS