Vietnam allows Covid extra shots starting December

By Le Nga   December 2, 2021 | 03:00 am PT
Vietnam allows Covid extra shots starting December
A health worker prepares a Covid-19 vaccine shot in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
The Health Ministry on Wednesday approved administrating extra Covid-19 shots at least 28 days after the final standard dose, while allowing the mix of certain vaccines.

A standard Covid-19 vaccine course normally entails two doses of either AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Sinopharm. They may also have only one dose (Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik Light) or three doses (Abdala).

An additional vaccine dose could be given at least 28 days after the last shot of the normal course. A booster shot meanwhile would be given at least six months after the last vaccine shot, which could either be the normal course or additional dose, the ministry said.

The health ministry's decision means a third Covid-19 vaccine dose would be given starting December. Additional vaccine shots would be given to adults, prioritizing those above 50 or that have compromised immune systems, either by having conditions like cancer or HIV or using drugs to suppress immune responses.

Additional shots could either be the same vaccine they received during the normal course or one from vaccines that utilize mRNA technologies, like Pfizer or Moderna.

Booster shots would also be given to adults, prioritizing those with underlying conditions and those who require long-term care, people aged 50 and above, and health workers who perform Covid-19 tests and take care of infected patients.

Booster shots may also use vaccines with mRNA technologies as an alternative to original shots. One exception however is the Vero Cell vaccine by Sinopharm, which could be substituted with other vaccines with mRNA or viral vector technologies (AstraZeneca) as both additional shots and booster shots.

Localities would decide on groups to receive additional or booster shots and plan vaccination accordingly.

Vietnam has so far given over 120 million vaccine doses to its adult population, meaning over 94 percent have received at least one dose, while 68 percent have received two.

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