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MoH toughens stance on delay in COVID-19 vaccination

MoH toughens stance on delay in COVID-19 vaccination

The Ministry of Health once again asks cities and provinces nationwide to speed up COVID-19 vaccination. (Photo via NDO)   

NDO/VNA – The Ministry of Health (MoH) has once again asked cities and provinces nationwide to speed up COVID-19 vaccination, saying they must report to the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology the number of unused vaccine doses which would probably be redistributed.

As of November 13, some 116 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been allocated to localities and establishments involved in vaccination, the MoH said in an urgent notice recently sent to Secretaries of the provincial Party Committees across the country.

The secretaries are asked to require local Health Department to hasten COVID-19 innoculation, so as to cover all citizens aged 18 and older with at least one vaccine shot and accelerate rollout of the second doses, the notice said. Priority must be given to people aged 50 and above and those with underlying medical conditions, it added.

Localities must actively review the use of vaccines, the number of administered vaccine doses and the unused, and report about reasons behind the delay in vaccination.

Provincial and municipal Health Departments are also requested to calculate how many vaccine doses they need to cover all residents aged 12 and above until the end of this year and demand for 2022 and submit written proposals for vaccine supply to the MoH before November 20, according to the notice.

The Health Departments must take responsibility if they fail to make a proposal, leading to a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in their localities, the MoH emphasised.

Data from the MoH shows that as of November 15 afternoon, over 99.7 million COVID-19 vaccine shots had been injected, with close to 35.3 million people fully vaccinated with two jabs. This means more than 15 million doses are yet to be used.

The MoH has repeatedly requested localities to accelerate the pace of COVID-19 vaccination. However, vaccination rates are still lagging behind in some provinces, including Son La (with only 45.5 percent of the population aged 18 and above receiving at least one shot), Thanh Hoa (50.6 percent), Nam Dinh (58.2 percent), Nghe An (60 percent) and Cao Bang (63.2 percent).

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