25.06.2021, 16:30

Expats to enjoy equitable Covid vaccination access in Vietnam

All expats in Vietnam will get shots as soon as more coronavirus vaccine batches arrived in Vietnam.

Pre-vaccination guideline for a foreign diplomat in Hanoi on June 10. (Photo: Bao Quoc Te)

All expats living, studying, and working in Vietnam will get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as the country receives more allocation. There’s no discrimination between Vietnamese people and expats when it comes to vaccination, Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday.

“The Vietnamese government has always cared for and supported foreigners, guaranteeing them a normal and safe life, prompt medical supervision and care in urgent cases,” Hang said. “The equitable access to Covid-19 vaccination will help Vietnam attain herd community sooner.”

Vietnam has given free Covid-19 jabs to over 600 members of foreign diplomatic missions, organizations under the United Nations system in Vietnam. The foreign ministry is coordinating with the Ministry of Health to vaccinate over 50 reporters and press assistants of Vietnam-based foreign press offices next week.

Expats to enjoy equitable Covid vaccination access in Vietnam

Le Thi Thu Hang, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The Government also agreed to adjust the entrance policy to facilitate the entering of Covid-19 vaccine holders. It is mulling over shortening quarantine time to one week from three weeks for fully vaccinated entrants.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is developing plans to receive foreign visitors with coronavirus vaccine passports to Phu Quoc, southern Vietnam. Those from countries with good pandemic control or herd immunity achievement will be prioritized.

Three vaccine holder groups likely eligible for entrance are stranded overseas Vietnamese; foreigners entering Vietnam for investment and business purposes, international visitors, according to the proposal of the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control in April.

Vietnam is in talks with the US and the WHO’s Covax Facility for more and sooner vaccine access. The country has so far received around 2,6 million doses of the Bristish-Sweden AstraZenxa through Covax Facility.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on Wednesday suggested Vietnam and South Korea boost cooperation in Covid-19 vaccine research and production when meeting his counterpart.

Given the complicated pandemic, Vietnam welcomes and asks for nations and international organizations to boost vaccine distribution and vaccine technology transfer.

A foreign diplomatic representative is given the Covid-19 jabs at Central Lung Hospital (Photo: Ministry of Health)

Vietnam kicked-started its nationwide vaccine rollout on March 8, prioritizing frontline healthcare workers, police and border force, Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control members, industrial workers, and other essential personnel. It has inoculated over 1.55 million recipients, with more than 60,000 fully inoculated.

HCMC on June 19 started its biggest vaccination campaign yet as the city faces a rising number of daily cases. Workers are first in line for the doses along with frontline workers.

To reach herd immunity, Vietnam must vaccinate 70% of its citizens aged 18 and over, equivalent to 150 million doses.

The novel coronavirus, which stemmed from Wuhan city, China’s Hubei province, has spread to 220 countries and territories. In Vietnam, it has infected 12,150 patients, claiming 61 lives. While the two northern provinces of Bac Giang and Bac Ninh are struggling with a growing daily tally, central Vietnam is the least affected of the three regions.

In the fourth wave alone, which started on April 27, the nationwide tally has topped 8,995 cases and 25 deaths.

Jasmine Le