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Vietnam adopts many measures to ensure Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccination safety

Malie Nguyen Malie Nguyen

Dieuhuong270198@gmail.com

April 20, 2021 | 07:00

The safety level of Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccination in Vietnam is "higher than that in some countries", according to Deputy Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology Duong Thi Hong.

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Responding to the press on concerns related to AstraZeneca vaccination on April 19 afternoon, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology Duong Thi Hong affirmed “Vietnam always place the safety in parallel with increasing coverage of vaccines for its citizens”.

According to Hong, Vietnam’s health sector has adopted many measures to ensure the safety for Covid-19 AstraZeneca recipients. Firstly, all recipients have their health screened before administration. “We use the post-vaccination response monitoring system, part of the National Expanded Program on Immunization, which has been implemented methodically for more than 10 years”, Hong was quoted by Vnexpress as saying.

Vietnam adopts many measures to ensure Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccination safety

A medical worker holds up a Covid-19 vaccine dose by AstraZeneca at the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Hanoi, March 8, 2021. Photo: VnExpress

The system records post-vaccination responses daily. “It receives reports from all localities across the country on the number of people injected as well as the number of people displaying responses after inoculation. On this basis, we can grasp the safety level of the injection”, Hong added.

All medical workers are trained on how to use vaccines and how to treat cases with reactions by experts in clinical and emergency resuscitation. "Vaccination in Vietnam is always companied by a treatment system”, Hong said.

Although Vietnam to date hasn’t yet reported any case of blood clotting after inoculation, the Ministry of Health has accelerated to develop guidelines on vaccination safety, Hong said.

In addition, Vietnam has implemented an e-health record system so that vaccine recipients can report their situation after inoculation. The health facilities will synthesize and analyze data on this system daily.

As of April 19, more than 80.000 Vietnamese have received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Vietnam adopts many measures to ensure Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccination safety
A medical staff receives the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: VnExpress

There have been 33% of recipients displaying commonly mild reactions such as swelling at the injection site, fatigue, mild fever, headache, and nausea. These reactions are normal which are also detected in other types of vaccines against measles, whooping cough, or tetanus.

There has been 1% of recipients experiencing severe reactions; however, they were timely treated and now are all in stable health conditions.

The post-injection reaction rate in Vietnam is lower than that announced by the producer.

Denmark previously abandoned the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after two recipients in the country suffered severe blood clots, one of which was fatal.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said blood clots were very rare side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine, adding that the vaccine's benefits far outweigh its risks. Thus, countries should continue to use it.

Vietnam received 117,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses through its order from the producer in late February and another 811,200 doses through Covax on April 1. The ministry has distributed vaccine doses to 28 cities and provinces.

The country aims to secure around 150 million vaccine doses to cover 70 percent of its population by next year.

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