On October 31, Vietnam recorded 5,519 more Covid-19 infections, the highest figure after a month, with cases detected in some 50 out of 63 cities and provinces, mainly in Ho Chi Minh City, the manufacturing hub of Binh Duong, and part of the Mekong Delta.
Today, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) still accounts for the most cases with 1,041 domestically-infected cases, followed by its neighbors Dong Nai with 688 and Binh Duong with 672 each.
Besides, the northern provinces of Bac Ninh and Bac Giang reported nearly dozens of cases, including in the industrial parks. Bac Giang-based Luxshare Co., one of Apple's vendors saw the first cases after months.
According to Bac Ninh's health authorities, the new cases were highest in the locality since the beginning of October. The province recorded several infection clusters, including those linked to companies in Que Vo Industrial Park and Bac Ninh City.
Bac Giang and Bac Ninh were the epicenters of the pandemic in May and June due to widespread transmission in the industrial parks.
A woman is injected with a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Hanoi. Photo: Pham Hung/ The Hanoi Times
Hanoi and HCMC plan vaccine booster shots
Given the spread of the pandemic in surrounding areas, the health sector in Hanoi and HCMC consider the third Covid-19 vaccine shots to be administered to frontline forces and high-risk people in late 2021 and early 2022 to enable the cities to proceed with their recovery plans.
The booster shots would be given to those who had gone at least six months since receiving their second dose depending on the type of vaccines, according to Dr. Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the HCMC Department of Health.
Chau added the southern city would administer the second Covid-19 vaccine shot to children aged 12-17 in late November.
In the same period, all unvaccinated residents will be given the first shot and those being partially inoculated will be provided with the second one, the official added.
Next year, the city will administer third or fourth vaccine shots to all who have received second or third doses, and at the same time vaccinate children aged three and older, Chau said.
Currently, HCMC is running a large-scale vaccination campaign for around 780,000 children aged 12 to 17.
Meanwhile, Hanoi is preparing to inoculate 680,000-840,000 children aged 12 to 17, according to Khong Minh Tuan, deputy director of the Hanoi Center for Disease Control.
The immunization campaign will be kicked off once the capital city receives vaccines from the Ministry of Health, Tuan said.
He added that Hanoi will continue giving first and second doses to its adults, with priority given to people of 50 years and older, women at over 13 weeks of pregnancy, and those with chronic diseases, among others.
The city is drawing up a Covid-19 vaccination plan for 2022, in which children aged three and older would be vaccinated while third or fourth vaccine doses will be offered to people who have received second or third jabs, Tuan noted.
Vietnam's health authorities target to inoculate at least two-thirds of nearly 100 million people against Covid-19 by the first quarter of next year.