Addressing an online meeting of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control with representatives from the Hai Duong Provincial People’s Committee on February 23, Tran Dac Phu, vice chairman of the advisory council for the granting of drug and medicinal ingredient circulation certificates at the MoH, affirmed that COVID-19 vaccinations will not be conducted on a mass basis prior to full inspections, to ensure that people are provided the safest vaccine possible.
Experts said the Astra Zeneca vaccine is being delivered to Vietnam and has been prequalified by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It can be used as soon as it is shipped to Vietnam.
The MoH also said that it only buys safe, highly-protective vaccines pre-assessed by WHO, approved by a stringent regulatory authority (SRA), and with a good price.
Phu also said that despite the COVID-19 vaccine, people still need to strictly follow disease prevention and control measures, in particular wearing masks when outdoors.
The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is spread by droplets, so wearing a mask is always the most effective measure to prevent its spread, he explained.
The vaccination will not immediately create immunity, he said, adding that it is also necessary to prevent a new strain of the virus from appearing.
Members of the Steering Committee affirmed that the Government is directing the acceleration of the production of a domestic COVID-19 vaccine, while ensuring safety and effectiveness.
Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said the ministry is developing a master plan for vaccinations.
With a plan to vaccinate millions of people in a short time, Tuyen said responding to and handling any complications that may occur after vaccination is entirely within the capability of the health sector.
A list of those enjoying free vaccines will follow the principle of giving priority to frontline forces and pandemic-hit localities.
Regarding this issue, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who is also head of the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control, affirmed that Vietnam is making every effort to quickly have a COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines, both sourced from abroad and produced domestically, will be provided free, like the Quinvaxem vaccine in the national expanded immunisation programme, in the time to come, he noted./.