Hanoi's authorities have been asked to give Covid-19 vaccine booster shots to local residents as soon as possible, according to a decision signed on August 9 by Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Sy Thanh.
On August 9, Vietnam saw a record high in three months of 2,300 new cases in a single day, lifting up the country’s total infections to more than 11,350,000, including more than 43,000 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
The move was made as the caseload with new strains BA.04 and BA.05 in the city is increasing and that vaccination against Covid-19 is an effective and strategic measure in disease prevention and control, stated the document.
Local authorities have been asked to urge high-risk and vaccine-hesitant people to complete the two-dose vaccination and ramp up at-home inoculations for homebound people who are aged above 50 with underlying health conditions, or at a high risk of severe illness from Covid-19, especially those who have not been inoculated, partially vaccinated, or refused vaccination, the notice added.
A woman in Hanoi receives the Coivd-19 vaccine. Photo: Thanh Binh
Local administrations were required to speed up the injection of boosters for vulnerable people and those living with these people as part of the Government's “Spring vaccination drive” from January 29 to February 28, 2022.
Heads of the district-level authorities must be held accountable if any high-risk citizens go unvaccinated against Covid-19, said the notice.
To date, about 99% of the people aged over 12 in Hanoi have been double dosed and nearly 55% have received the booster jabs.
So far, more than 79 million of the country’s 98 million people have received at least one injection while nearly 75 million have been jabbed twice. Vietnam has set a target to complete the inoculation of additional booster doses in the first quarter of 2022.
Among people, students are subject to the city's Covid-19 vaccination campaign.
The move is in line with the MoH's alert on the Covid-19 pandemic following increasing cases.
Upon the situation, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked the ministry to urgently issue guidelines on Covid-19 treatment protocols for people under 18 years old, especially children under 12, urging MoH to work with other agencies and localities to get cooperation from families, parents, and teachers in the fight against Covid-19.
Vaccination for 6th grade students in Hanoi's Ha Dong District. Photo: Bich Hoi
In an interview with The Hanoi Times via phone, Nguyen Trong Khoa, deputy director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment under the MoH, said that although the overall risk of children becoming severely ill or dying from Covid-19 is extremely low, children with Covid-19 are also at risk of developing long-term symptoms.
“According to an MoH's report, the death rate for Vietnamese Covid-19 patients under 17 is about 0.34% (roughly 130 children) of the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Vietnam. The rate of severe illness after convalescence from Covid-19 in this group is also very low,” Khoa cited the report, adding that even children who develop mild initial symptoms or are asymptomatic, would not be spared these long-lasting effects.
“In some cases, the disease in children becomes worse and requires mechanical ventilation, dialysis, and long-term treatment two or three weeks after being negative for coronavirus,” Khoa added.
He noted that to promptly detect post-Covid-19 symptoms in children, families need to closely monitor them, even two or three months after their convalescence, and take them to the doctor if they have any serious physical or mental concerns about their kids.