HCMC health department urges Covid booster shots for later this year

By Le Phuong   October 30, 2021 | 06:00 pm PT
HCMC health department urges Covid booster shots for later this year
A man is injected with a Covid-19 vaccine shot in HCMC, June 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The HCMC Department of Health proposed city authorities allow third Covid vaccine shots be administered to frontline staff and those at high risk in the next two months.

The booster shot would be given to those who had gone at least six months since receiving their second dose depending on the type of vaccine, Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, deputy director of the department, told a meeting Saturday.

Chau added the city would administer the second Covid vaccine shot to children aged 12-17 in late November.

Ho Chi Minh City, which has fully vaccinated almost 80 percent of its adult population, was the first locality in the country to vaccinate children aged 12-17 against Covid-19 since Oct. 27. By Friday noon, around 86,000 children had been vaccinated in the southern metropolis, according to the municipal Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In 2022, the city plans to vaccinate all children aged three and older. In addition, the health sector would inject third and fourth shots for residents as prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

HCMC started vaccinating frontline Covid workers on March 8 when Vietnam started its mass vaccination campaign.

As of Saturday, 7.3 million people in HCMC have got at least one dose of a Covid vaccine and 5.7 million have been fully vaccinated.

Studies show that Covid antibodies decrease six months after second shots have been administered and vaccine efficacy against the Delta variant becomes lower over time, Reuters reported.

The World Health Organization earlier this month recommended that immunocompromised people be given an additional dose of Covid vaccine, due to their higher risk of breakthrough infections after standard immunization.

Israel, France and other Western nations have already started administering or made plans for booster shots, citing indications they are effective.

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