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Demand for Covid vaccines falls

By Chi Le, Thai Anh   June 2, 2022 | 08:24 pm PT
Demand for Covid vaccines falls
A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy
Vietnam is seeing a large amount of Covid-19 vaccines left unused as residents don't want to get vaccinated further.

Nguyen Cong Luat with the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said Wednesday that there were still many vaccine doses for both adults and children that have not yet been used. People are neglecting to get their shots because the Covid-19 situation has been brought under control, he added.

As a result, at least 13 localities have refused to receive new Covid-19 vaccine batches and requested that they be delivered elsewhere, Luat said.

They are Hanoi and the nearby Hai Duong Province, the north central province of Thanh Hoa, the Central Highlands' Kon Tum, Gia Lai, and Dak Lak, and the Mekong Delta's An Giang, Ben Tre, Tra Vinh, Dong Thap, Kien Giang, Ca Mau and Hau Giang provinces.

Duong Anh Duc, deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee, said Thursday that Covid-19 vaccination speed was also slowing down in the city mainly because people did not want to get their shots.

Many parents haven't agreed to get their children aged 5-11 vaccinated, with the vaccination rate in this age group standing at just 50 percent. Only 900 adults have received their fourth Covid-19 shots, Duc said.

"The Covid-19 situation in the world is still complex. There's no telling that a new variant won't show up and trigger new outbreaks. Without the protection of vaccines, that would be dangerous," he said, requesting authorities to continue persuading people to get vaccinated.

A representative from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology said localities have reported that citizens don’t want to get booster shots because they have already been infected with Covid-19. Vaccination progress is also affected by misinformation regarding vaccines' side effects. This has led to localities not receiving the Covid-19 vaccine batches distributed to them, the representative said.

Deputy health minister Do Xuan Tuyen said all the aforementioned 13 localities that haven’t accepted their Covid-19 vaccine batches must do so by Friday. Localities that still refuse to receive their batches must guarantee in writing to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the health ministry that they will "take responsibility should outbreaks happen."

If people refuse to get vaccinated, local authorities must require them to sign documents agreeing to pay for their own Covid-19 treatment and to take responsibility if they spread the virus, Tuyen said.

As of May 29, around 62 percent of the population had received their third Covid-19 vaccine shot, with around 100,000 shots given every day on average.

The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology estimates that there are still around 26 million people who haven't got their third shots. It has also acknowledged that it would be difficult to vaccinate all of them within this month.

 
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