Vietnamese minister says vaccine rollout is “too slow” in many areas
HANOI, Aug. 3 (Reuters) – Vietnam’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has been too slow in many areas, the health minister said on Tuesday, as quoted by state media, as the nation of Southeast Asia is battling its worst coronavirus outbreak yet.
Vietnam has managed to contain the coronavirus for most of last year, but a Delta-triggered outbreak that has infected more than 160,000 people since the end of April has increased pressure on authorities to roll out the vaccination more quickly. .
“Vaccination is now a priority and urgent task for the localities,” said Nguyen Thanh Long, quoted by the Vietnamese news agency.
Data from the Ministry of Health showed that Vietnam has only fully vaccinated 700,000 people, or less than 1% of the country’s 98 million people, since the launch of the deployment in early March.
However, seven million doses of the vaccine have been administered, although this represents only 42.5% of the vaccines received so far, according to the data.
The wave of infections has forced around a third of Vietnamese cities and provinces to impose strict travel restrictions, including in the epicenter of Ho Chi Minh City and the capital Hanoi. Read more
The government announced last week that it would speed up its vaccination campaign in Ho Chi Minh City, adding that “the city is focusing on treatment to limit the number of deaths.” Read more
The death toll from COVID-19 in the country reached 1,881 on Tuesday, according to the health ministry. More than 95% of deaths were recorded in the past month.
Vietnam, which has focused most of its resources on contact tracing and quarantine in previous outbreaks, is close to approving the use of remdesivir, an antiviral drug from Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O ) for the treatment of patients who have contracted the coronavirus, state media reported. Tuesday.
The country is expected to receive 500,000 vials of remdesivir soon and is also considering approving favipiravir, a drug that has also been shown to be effective in combating COVID-19, the health ministry said in an earlier statement.
Editing by Ed Davies
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