|A COVID-19 vaccine vial is being prepared for administration. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Thái|
HÀ NỘI — The health ministry has warned that localities that don’t retrieve their allocated COVID-19 vaccines to roll out to the population and let outbreaks happen will be held accountable before both Government and the Prime Minister.
This is part of the cable the ministry sent to municipal and provincial People’s Committees and Party Committees.
The ministry said that on May 16, the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology had issued Decision No 743/QĐ-VSDTTW on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines – allocation numbered 146 and 147, with the amount equivalent to 30 per cent of the remaining estimated demands for the third dose in localities – but the institute reported that 13 localities have yet to ‘pick up’ the allocated vaccines, or have written requests to waive the allocated vaccine or to transfer the allocated vaccines to other localities.
Local leaders are asked to direct health departments to urgently take up the vaccines and roll out the shots – especially the third and fourth doses for adults, and for children aged five to under 12 years.
Deputy health minister Đỗ Xuân Tuyên said the institute should work with relevant authorities to directly transport the allocated vaccines to localities, without waiting any further.
The localities are also requested to run communication campaigns to help raise public awareness of the need for booster shots even when the worst of the outbreak in the country has passed.
The Government aims to complete the rollout of the third dose of vaccines in the second quarter of 2022, but to date, with about a month left, booster coverage in the adult population has reached about 57-58 per cent.
The country is also providing fourth doses for some groups of at-risk people – people from 50 years old, people from 18 years old with immune-comprised conditions, and other people from 18 years old at the frontline (medical staff, workers at industrial parks, etc.).
Nearly 100 per cent of adults and 96.4 per cent of children aged 12-17 in the country have been fully vaccinated.
A total of over 221 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Việt Nam to date. — VNS