People with certain illnesses, seniors not to be given AstraZeneca Covid vaccine

By Le Nga   March 18, 2021 | 10:31 pm PT
People with certain illnesses, seniors not to be given AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
A medical worker in Hai Duong Province is injected with AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, March 8, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh.
People aged 65 or more and those with disorders like blood clotting and thrombocytopenia will not get the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine amid the global alarms over its safety.

People with acute illnesses, pregnant women and those with impaired immune response and end-stage cancer are also included in a list issued by the Ministry of Health on Thursday.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is also contraindicated in people who received immunoglobulin or plasma treatment in the previous 90 days, had Covid in the previous six months or got another vaccine in the previous 14 days.

The ministry's move follows many European countries’ to halt the use of the vaccine developed by the British-Swedish company in collaboration with Oxford University over safety fears.

It said people with a history of second-degree anaphylaxis or higher during their first Covid vaccination would not get a second shot.

There was recently a case of third-degree anaphylaxis and five of second-degree cases. Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and could cause death. It typically produces symptoms like an itchy rash, swelling of the throat or tongue, shortness of breath, vomiting, lightheadedness, and low blood pressure sometimes within minutes.

To reduce the risk, before vaccination, medical staff must thoroughly investigate a person’s medical and allergy histories.

The vaccination campaign began on March 8, and more than 27,500 medical staff and other frontline workers have received their first shot. They will get a second after 12 weeks.

So far, the country "has not recorded any case of blood clot in people given the vaccine and the ministry has directed all healthcare facilities chosen for the inoculation program to go ahead with the task," health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said at a government meeting on Wednesday.

At least 17 countries, including France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Indonesia, and Thailand, suspended or delayed use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of blood clots in people who received the shot.

Most European nations are set to resume its use after the European Medicines Agency ruled that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective.

The World Health Organization has called on all countries to continue the vaccination.

Vietnam has ordered 30 million doses, and received 117,600 so far. By April it will get another five million vaccine doses through global access mechanism Covax, UNICEF and other contracts. It expects to get around 60 million doses in all this year.

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