5 Vietnamese recipients develop complications post AstraZeneca vaccine injection

Five out of 522 frontline workers who got the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in the last three days have developed mild complications and are being treated in the hospital.
March 10, 2021 | 20:12
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A medical staff prepares to inject the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for frontline workers at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases, Hanoi, March 8 2021. (Photo: VNE)

Two recipients suffered from anaphylaxis, three others developed diarrhea, allergies and low pulse pressure, the national Expanded Program on Immunization says. All are being treated and in stable health conditions.

The vaccination campaign – touted as the biggest one in the country so far – kicked off on Monday morning with hundreds of prioritized doctors and medical staff in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hai Duong, Gia Lai got AstraZeneca jabs. Hanoi-based Thanh Nhan hospital and Gia Lai’s field hospital are the two lastest vaccination sites to give first responders the COVID-19 vaccine, according to VNE.

Initial reports said most of the vaccinated people displayed expected symptoms post AstraZeneca inoculation, including muscle pain, fatigue, fever, headache, chill, pain at the injection spot, and nausea. Experts evaluate the vaccination program in the past three days as safe while further stress that recipients must strictly follow the instructions from health authorities.

Vietnam Health Ministry has earlier regulated that vaccination sites must meet strict standards for vaccine storage and preservation, as well as anti-pandemic measures. All named in the vaccination list are screened and instructed on how to further monitor their health post-injection, including immediate informing of any abnormal symptoms.

(Photo: VNE)

Meanwhile, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC) is recruiting more volunteers aged 40-59 for its Covivac vaccine’s first phase of human trial after having enough volunteers under 40 years old.

Those with qualified screening will get 2 injections of 0.5ml each, 28 days apart. The 150 volunteers will be divided into 5 groups, of which one group will receive placebo. Volunteers will be monitored for the next 24 hours at the hospital, no quarantine needed. They are expected to have 8 periodically medical check-ups with blood tests within 12 months, thereby, researchers could evaluate their health condition and the amount of antibodies post-injection.

Phase 1’s goal is to evaluate the safety and immune response of the vaccine to further select the two most optimal dose groups before moving onto the second phase, MOH reported.

The second phase of the human trial is scheduled to commence in July and the final phase in November.

The first locally-produced COVID-19 vaccine, Nanocovax, made by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology JSC, entered its second phase of human trials on February 26.

Results of the trial will be announced in May 2021 before preparing for the third-stage trial during which only one single shot of the vaccine will be administered to 10,000-15,000 people from both domestic and foreign pandemic-hit regions, said Lieutenant-General Do Quyet, Director of the Military Medical University.

Vietnam has two other COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed, which are VABIOTECH by the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No 1, and POLYVAC by the Centre for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals.

Vietnam has ordered 30 million doses, and 117,600 arrived late last month.

It is also negotiating with the U.S.’s Pfizer and Moderna and other vaccine manufacturers in Russia and China.

In the latest outbreak of community transmission that broke out on January 28, there have been 894 cases so far, including one diagnosed on Tuesday evening in Hai Duong, its 710th.

The Decision details the 11 groups of people prioritized to receive Covid-19 vaccine shots secured through the COVAX Facility, including:

- Medical staff.

- Disease prevention and control staff (e.g. steering committees at all levels, staff working at quarantine zones, reporters, etc.).

- Diplomatic, customs staff and immigration officers.

- Military forces.

- Police.

- Teachers.

- People aged more than 65 years.

- Group of staff providing essential services, such as aviation, transport, tourism; electricity and water supply, etc.

- People with chronic conditions.

- People wishing to take business trips, study or work abroad.

- People living in epidemic hit areas that are identified based on epidemiologic studies.

The Decision No. 1210/QD-TTg is entering into force as of the signature date.

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