An elderly woman in Đà Nẵng City gets her COVID-19 vaccine from a mobile vaccination team. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s daily COVID-19 vaccination rate in November is the third highest in the world, just after billion-population India and China, according to the health ministry.
Despite getting off to a slower start in vaccinations due to a supply shortage, since early September to December, the inoculation efforts have ramped up significantly with more vaccines available, and the country hitting an average of 1-1.5 million doses administered a day.
With 135 million shots of vaccines given so far, Việt Nam's number of given doses ranks 11th in the world, according to Our World In Data, behind nations such as China (2.61 billion), United States (488 million), Germany (138 million) and Russia (137 million).
As of December 14, the first-dose coverage for the adult population has hit 96.8 per cent, 3.9 times higher than the coverage at the end of August, and the second-dose coverage reached 80.3 per cent, 21.1 times higher than the August figure.
First-dose coverage in Việt Nam is currently fourth in the Southeast Asian region, after Singapore, Cambodia, and Brunei.
To date, about 60 per cent of Việt Nam’s population of nearly 100 million have been given the primary course (primarily two doses) of COVID-19 vaccination, 20 per cent higher than WHO’s goal of having 40 per cent of the population in all countries vaccinated by year-end.
Việt Nam has received 169 million doses of vaccines so far, including 80 million from purchase orders and 89 million from donations and aid.
With regards to the Omicron variant, the health ministry has not recorded any COVID-19 cases of the new variant but the risks of its transmission into Việt Nam remain high and together with other circulating variants, it will pose a great threat to clinically vulnerable groups including people above 50 years old, those with chronic medical conditions, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people.
Despite its high vaccination rate, Việt Nam is still seeing rising cases, hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19, the latter two of which the health ministry said were primarily observed in the elderly, people with underlying diseases or those not fully vaccinated.
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính during Thursday's Government meeting on COVID-19 prevention and control has reiterated the demand to vaccinate all adults in the country with second doses by the end of 2021 and wrap up the inoculation of children aged 12-17 in January.
The country is still reviewing the vaccinations for children aged 5-11.
PM Chính asked health authorities and local administrations to organise door-to-door campaigns to ensure even higher vaccination coverage, study and propose measures against people who refuse vaccinations (except for those with medical contraindications to receiving vaccines) such as forbidding the unvaccinated to go outside or charging treatment fees if they contract COVID-19. — VNS