Ministry of Health issues COVID-19 vaccine plan for this year

May 23, 2023 - 10:09
Vaccines against COVID-19 will still be given free of charge this year.
Medical workers give COVID-19 vaccines to people in Hai Bà Trưng District in Hà Nội on April 24 this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Quyết

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health has issued its plan on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 this year.

It asked localities to determine vaccine needs and deploy injection plans based on their real situation, according to the plan, signed by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Thị Hương Liên.

The health ministry estimates that by the end of this year, localities will need more than 2,259 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

The amount can change according to local recommendations.

Under the plan, people receiving the vaccines include over-18-year-old people who need booster doses, people between 12 and 18 years old who are yet to receive three doses and basic doses for children from five to 12 years old.

As for children under five, the MoH will have detailed instruction based on scientific foundations and the pandemic situation.

Vaccines against COVID-19 will still be given free of charge this year.

Funds for the vaccination are from the State budget, the COVID-19 vaccine fund and support from domestic and foreign organisations, individuals and other legal sources.

Existing COVID-19 vaccines will be maximised, especially the ones recommended or included in the list of vaccines for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and those licensed by the health ministry.

The health sector will apply the mixed use of vaccines based on research findings and the experience of Việt Nam and other countries to enhance the immune response and guarantee safety, according to the plan.

The ministry also said in the plan that COVID-19 vaccination campaigns could also be combined with regular vaccination activities in localities.

By the end of April 26, Việt Nam has administered more than 266 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, according to the health ministry.

The country has completed primary vaccination for people aged 12 years and older. This year, it is necessary to continue vaccinating new people at the age to be vaccinated and booster doses.

A report from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology showed that as of April 25, there were about 2.8 million unused vaccine doses nationwide.

Associate professor Trần Đắc Phu, former director of the Việt Nam General Department of Preventive Medicine, said that at present, COVID-19 epidemic situation in Việt Nam was still under control.

Most new cases had mild or no symptoms.

Severe cases and deaths were mostly among people with underlying diseases or the elderly.

“I think we need to protect those high-risk people," Phu said. "These cases need to be fully vaccinated according to the schedule and guidelines of the MoH." — VNS