Booster shots fail to gain traction: health ministry

By Chi Le   May 18, 2022 | 08:30 pm PT
Booster shots fail to gain traction: health ministry
A health worker prepares a Covid-19 vaccine shot in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
Many people don't want to receive Covid-19 vaccine booster shots, slowing down vaccination speed in the country, the health ministry says.

In a document sent to localities Tuesday, the ministry said vaccination speed was slowing down 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.

Vaccination should happen at a faster pace so that children aged 5-11 are inoculated in the second quarter, the ministry said.

So far, 59 percent of the population have received their third Covid-19 vaccine shots, while just 18 percent of children aged 5-11 have received their shots, deputy health minister Do Xuan Tuyen said last week.

"Vaccination is slowing down," Tuyen said, adding that one of the reasons for this is that both citizens and officials have dropped their guard and not fully understood the importance of vaccination.

Got it, recovered

Many people say they don't want to get a third shot because they'd had already gotten Covid-19.

Lan Anh, 56, who lives in Hanoi, said she had already been vaccinated with two Pfizer shots before contracting Covid-19 in March. She believes the infection has given her enough antibodies and there was no need for a third vaccine shot this year.

Minh Phuong, 40, who lives in the northern province of Nam Dinh, said she was infected in April after getting two AstraZeneca shots. She said the majority of the population has already been infected so there’s already a decent level of immunity.

As of May 11, 39.9 million people in the country have received their third Covid-19 vaccine shots, according to the National Institute of Hygiene And Epidemiology. There are still over 3.7 million vaccine doses left over in various localities, it added.

Vaccine demand has been falling lately, with certain localities only signing up to receive a few hundreds of thousands of doses, which is much lower than the number of shots needed to meet vaccination goals.

Tuyen said vaccination was vital to protect people against Covid-19 and keep children in school. The health ministry said that vaccination was mandatory for certain groups of people in accordance with the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease in 2007.

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