Vietnam to study effectiveness of 7 Covid vaccines

By Le Nga, Chi Le   November 7, 2022 | 04:49 pm PT
Vietnam to study effectiveness of 7 Covid vaccines
A person receives a Covid-19 vaccine shot, September 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Thao Nguyen
The health ministry is conducting seven studies on the immunological effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines for approval and licensing purposes.

A representative of the Administration of Science Technology and Training under the Ministry of Health, who did not want to be named, said Monday that among the seven studies, three are of Covid-19 vaccines made in Vietnam and the others in China, South Korea, Spain and Japan.

After the studies are completed, the health ministry's Ethics Committee would evaluate and approve the vaccines. So far, only one of the seven studies have been completed, the representative said.

"So far, there has been no official research result regarding the level of protection after getting Covid-19 vaccines in Vietnam," the representative said, adding that the goal of the evaluation is to approve and license vaccines, as well as deploying other Covid-19 prevention measures appropriate for current situations.

However, the ministry revealed no further information about the conduct of the studies.

Vietnam has been relying on Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness studies from around the world to inform its disease prevention measures. According to those studies, the effectiveness of preventing severe complications, hospitalization and death following a third Covid-19 vaccine shot can reach 86% in the first month. That percentage would gradually drop in six months, with the harshest drop between the 4th and 6th month. By the 6th month, the percentage would have dropped to 70%.

A fourth Covid-19 vaccine shot would increase the aforementioned percentage by around 9-28%, according to studies.

Earlier this month, Tang Chi Thuong, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, said the city was going to conduct surveys to evaluate the level of herd immunity against Covid-19 as also the effectiveness of vaccines.

"If vaccination rate is low but herd immunity level is high, that would be a weight off our shoulders," Thuong said, but he also did not elaborate on how those surveys would be conducted.

On Sunday, Health Minister Dao Hong Lan said it cannot be determined that Covid-19 is truly gone, and whether future vaccine shots will be required. What Vietnam should do at the moment is to boost vaccination and vaccine research, as well as medical equipment supplies, she said.

Around 13 million adults in Vietnam need to have their fourth Covid-19 vaccine shots, but many have chosen not to get them, believing the three they have already got are enough.

To date, Vietnam has recorded over 11.5 million Covid-19 cases with over 43,000 deaths. 24,283 new cases were recorded in October, a 64.8% drop from September.

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