Vietnamese military medicals received COVID-19 vaccine before leaving for South Sudan

On March 16, 64 Vietnamese soldiers of the level-2 Field Hospital No. 3 have injected the COVID-19 vaccine to get ready for the UN's peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
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A Vietnamese military medic receives her first shot of Covid-19 vaccine. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.

HCM City (VNA) - Military Hospital 175 in Ho Chi Minh City on March 16 gave COVID-19 vaccinations to 64 officers and soldiers of level-2 Field Hospital No 3, who are about to set off for South Sudan on March 24, as well as to 6 hospital staff working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight.

They received the first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the British-Swedish company in collaboration with Oxford University at Ho Chi Minh City Military 175 Hospital. Their inoculation was part of Vietnam’s first batch of 117,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine that arrived late last month, VnExpress cites.

According to the protocol, each will be given two doses of the vaccine, 12 weeks apart. After Tuesday's first injection, the medics would get their second dose in South Sudan.

Before injection, they had their health screened and signed a Covid-19 vaccination consent form.

“I feel nervous but very happy that I was able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. I hope that everyone will get vaccinated in the near future,” said Le Na, who was among the 64 officers.

As the doctor who will be responsible for performing surgery for patients in South Sudan, captain and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nam, Head of Department of Surgery of the field hospital, said: “Before the vaccination, I learned about AstraZeneca vaccine. As a doctor, I understand that any drug has a certain undesirable rate so I don't feel worried. My teammates and I feel more secure after being vaccinated and are ready to go on duty in the next few days.”

Captain and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nam was the first to be vaccinated on March 16. Photo: Vietnamnet.

Captain Tran Thuan Trang, the chief nursing officer of the Medical Examination Ward of the field hospital, said that her work is in direct contact with patients, so she feels more confident after being vaccinated, reported Vietnamnet.

Captain Tran Thuan Trang has her health monitored after receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Photo: Duyen Phan/Tuoi Tre.

About 2,100 vaccine doses have been allocated to 175 Military Hospital and will be given to general-ranked officers in southern Vietnam, officers assigned with peacekeeping missions in South Sudan, officers sent on overseas business trips, and officers on duty at DK1 rigs in the East Vietnam Sea, as cited by Tuoi Tre.

Nurse Tran Thi Thom receives her certification of Covid-19 vaccination. Photo: Vietnamnet.

Vietnam has enlarged its role in U.N. peacekeeping and is taking part in more operations in Africa.

64 officers and soldiers of level-2 Field Hospital No 3 are about to set off for South Sudan on March 24. Photo: Vietnamnet.

In October 2018, for the first time, Vietnam sent a team of military doctors to work at the U.N. field hospital in South Sudan. The second such team left for South Sudan in October 2019.

South Sudan has recorded over 9,500 infections and 104 deaths so far.

Last year, the U.N. requested Vietnam to set up a Covid-19 testing center in South Sudan thanks to its successful efforts to contain the disease. The testing center would help increase the U.N.’s capability to fight Covid-19 across the area, overseen by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

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