Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) are among five localities that need to finish vaccinating the first shots to adults aged above 18 before September 15, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Health.
Accordingly, Hanoi, HCMC, Binh Duong, Long An, and Dong Nai, the most affected areas, need to make the mission complete and ensure the second jabs within the interval.
|Vaccination in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy/ The Hanoi Times|
To date, the vaccination coverage remains low in the aforementioned areas. HCMC tops localities for the rate of the first jab out of matured inhabitants with 88%, Long An ranks second with 72.7%, Binh Duong 57.8%, Hanoi 52.6%, and Dong Nai 36.5%.
Currently, all the above areas are placed under lockdown. The restrictions are among the reasons slowing the inoculation process. In addition, a thin vaccine supply is another barrier hindering the campaign.
Vaccination is considered a key factor to help localities go back to the new normal.
HCMC's authorities have said that vaccination is critical for its recovery plans. The city will gradually reopen the economy with a vaccination-based approach.
In Hanoi alone, the risk of the widespread coronavirus outbreak is very high, and the consequences of its cause might be serious if the city does not accelerate the vaccination, according to experts.
The health ministry should allocate the city more vaccines to help it fulfill the target of giving the first jab to 70% of adults, mainly the elderly and vulnerable groups, said Dr. Tran Tuan, director of the Research and Training Center for Community Development (RTCCD).
“It is necessary to vaccinate the elderly and people with underlying diseases as soon as possible. This will help reduce the burden on the healthcare system if Covid-19 attacks high-risk groups,” said Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga, former head of the General Department of Preventive Medicine under the Ministry of Health.
For that reason, giving Hanoi more vaccines is the must-do mission for the Ministry of Health.
“Hanoi is the head of the country, accommodating the most powerful bodies. Consequently, it will harm the national governance if the city is severely affected by the pandemic,” said Nguyen Si Dung, former deputy head of the National Assembly’s Office.
“Hanoi should be prioritized in the vaccination drive because if the city is affected, the impact on surrounding areas will be huge. If Hanoi returns to a new normal, it will be a driving force for the economy,” Dung noted.
Hanoi has been prioritizing vaccinating people with underlying diseases, the elderly, people in the “red zone” (high-risk zone), “orange zone” (low-risk zone), and areas of high population density.
Binh Duong, the manufacturing hub, will consider relaxing restrictions for fully vaccinated people.
As of September 6, Vietnam has administered over 22 million shots or nearly 30% of people aged above 18, including more than 3.3 million full vaccinated.