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3 mln more Covid vaccines headed for HCMC

By Huu Cong   July 20, 2021 | 10:27 pm PT
3 mln more Covid vaccines headed for HCMC
People line up to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in HCMC, June 24, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
The Health Ministry expects to distribute over three million more Covid-19 vaccine doses to HCMC by either the end of August or early September, it stated Monday.

At a meeting with Ho Chi Minh City leaders, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son said the southern city would receive the vaccines since it suffers the highest number of coronavirus infections in the country. As of Wednesday, HCMC accounts for 39,526 of Vietnam's 61,889 cases in the new wave that struck the country in late April.

By early September, the city should have around five million Covid-19 vaccine doses, Son said.

Also at the meeting, the health ministry and HCMC authorities both agreed to neither vaccinate coronavirus cases nor prioritize vaccination based on geographical areas, but to prioritize vaccination for groups in critical need. Different vaccine types should all be treated as equal, the ministry added.

For HCMC's upcoming vaccination round, the city would use over 930,000 vaccine doses by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinopharm, said Duong Anh Duc, chairman of the municipal People's Committee. The Sinopharm vaccine in particular would be prioritized for Chinese citizens before they are administered to other groups, he noted.

The city would prioritize around 650,000 people aged above 65 for this vaccination round. Those in locked down areas would be vaccinated as soon as the lockdown is lifted. Other prioritized groups include the poor and vulnerable, as well as family members of doctors on the coronavirus frontline, said Duc.

All 930,000 doses should be used up within two weeks. The vaccination round is set to begin on Thursday.

Previously, HCMC had vaccinated over 991,300 people with at least one shot of the Covid-19 vaccine. Over 48,100 have received two shots.

The southern metropolis has experienced about two weeks of strict social distancing since July 9, requiring people to stay home and only go out for necessities like buying food or medicines or to work at factories or businesses allowed to operate.

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