Mekong Delta residents apathetic about Covid booster shots

By Ngoc Tai, Cuu Long   June 10, 2022 | 01:21 am PT
Mekong Delta residents apathetic about Covid booster shots
A man in Thap Muoi District of Dong Thap Province gets Covid-19 vaccine in October 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai
Hundreds of thousands of vaccine doses remain unclaimed across Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam as people no longer fear Covid-19.

In Vinh Long Province, almost 779,000 people aged from 18, or 99.8 percent of the province's adult population, have been administered their second Covid-19 vaccine shot.

But by Thursday, only a little over 62 percent of this group had received the third shot and just 5.4 percent, the fourth.

Ho Thi Thu Hang, deputy director of the provincial Health Department, said in most cases people are less interested in vaccination now that the pandemic has been brought under control.

In several other cases, some are anxious about vaccine safety, while others have contracted the disease within the past three months, she said.

"The province has more than 200,000 doses available. We are working with local authorities to boost vaccination progress," she said.

Duong An Han, deputy head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Dong Thap Province, said more than 99 percent of local adults had been vaccinated with two doses and 90 percent with three. For the fourth shot, only 1.4 percent have been inoculated.

Dong Thap was allocated 150,000 Pfizer doses early this month and in the coming time, would receive 52,000 Moderna doses to vaccinate children aged 5-12.

"The province has administered 2,000-3,000 doses each month on average and we have tried to encourage people to get the shot, but vaccination process remains slow since people have started neglecting Covid-19," Han said.

He added that the province now has 15,000 people who have yet to receive any shots.

The situation is similar in Bac Lieu Province. It has more than 572,000 adults that have had two doses, or 98 percent of the adult population. Rates for the third and fourth shots are 43 percent and 1.49 percent.

Bac Lieu now has a vaccine inventory of more than 250,000 doses.

Meanwhile, the inventory volume in An Giang Province currently exceeds 100,000 doses.

An Giang authorities said many people refused to get the third and fourth shots as they believe the pandemic is over.

The Health Ministry said in May that many people don't want to receive Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, and that vaccination speed was slowing as both citizens and officials were neglecting the threat of Covid-19, making it much harder to persuade people to get vaccinated with the third shot.

Until now, more than 77.74 million of the nation’s 98-million population have received two Covid-19 vaccine doses and 59.3 million, the third.

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